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Physical Activity Associated with Lower Risk of Ovarian Cancer Mortality

(April 8, 2014) A team of researchers have found that vigorous physical activity prior to ovarian cancer diagnosis was associated with a lower risk of ovarian cancer mortality.  The findings were published in Gynecologic Oncology.

There is limited knowledge of the association of modifiable lifestyle factors, such as physical activity and obesity on mortality among women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The purpose of our study was to prospectively investigate the association of (1) measured body mass index (BMI), and (2) self-reported physical activity with ovarian cancer-specific and all-cause mortality in postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI).

Participants were 600 women diagnosed with primary ovarian cancer subsequent to enrollment in WHI. Exposure data, including measured height and weight and reported physical activity from recreation and walking, used in this analysis were ascertained at the baseline visit for the WHI. Researchers examined the associations between BMI, physical activity and mortality endpoints.  Vigorous-intensity physical activity was associated with a 26% lower risk of ovarian cancer specific-mortality and a 24% lower risk of all-cause mortality compared to no vigorous-intensity physical activity. BMI was not associated with mortality.

The researchers concluded that participating in vigorous-intensity physical activity, assessed prior to ovarian cancer diagnosis, appears to be associated with a lower risk of ovarian cancer mortality.

Click here to read the abstract.