Benefit of exercise in lowering breast cancer risk is lost in postmenopausal women who had gained weight, US study finds

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 26 June 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e4346
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

Physical activity reduces women’s risk of breast cancer except among postmenopausal women who gained substantial weight during adulthood, shows a US study.1

The study compared 1504 women with breast cancer with 1555 matched controls (aged 20-98 years) who were part of the Long Island breast cancer study project, which is investigating possible environmental causes of breast cancer.

Although physical activity is known to reduce the risk of breast cancer, the researchers wanted to clarify the duration and intensity of activity needed to reduce risk. They also wanted to identify whether there were any particular periods during a woman’s life when activity was associated with …

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