Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2010) 09, 311 - 319

Research article
Intensity and Timing in Life of Recreational Physical Activity in Relation to Breast Cancer Risk Among Pre- and Postmenopausal Women
Joanna Kruk 
Author Information
Institute of Physical Education, University of Szczecin, Szczecin, Poland

Joanna Kruk
✉ Institute of Physical Education, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Szczecin, Al. Piastów 40b/6, 71-065 Szczecin, Poland
Publish Date
Received: 31-12-2009
Accepted: 29-03-2010
Published (online): 01-06-2010
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Regular recreational physical activity has been found to be associated with a decrease in breast cancer risk in women in the majority of epidemiologic studies, but research findings are inconsistent regarding the intensity of activity and timing in life. To address these issues the relations of moderate and vigorous intensity recreational physical activity during ages 14-20, 21-34, 35-50, and over age 50 years to pre- and postmenopausal breast cancer risk were examined. A case-control study of 858 women, with histological confirmation of invasive breast cancer, and 1085 controls, free of any cancer diagnosis, all subjects aged 28-79 years was conducted in the Region of Western Pomerania (Poland). Physical activity was assessed using a self-administered questionnaire with questions on type of activity, duration, frequency, and intensity for each type of activity. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of breast cancer associated with physical activity were calculated using unconditional logistic regression. Vigorous physical activity at ages 14-20 and 21-34 years lowered breast cancer risk by at least 35% in premenopausal women and by at least 51% in postmenopausal women for the highest versus lowest quartiles of the activity. The risk was also reduced in postmenopausal women who reported on average more than 1.74 hours per week of vigorous intensity recreational activity in ages >50 years (OR = 0.58; 95%CI = 0.27-0.97; P for trend = 0.013). For moderate activity the relationships remained statistically significant only in postmenopausal women active during ages 14- 20 years. The results indicate also a plausible risk reduction among premeno-pausal women. These results support the hypothesis that recrea-tional activity, particularly done early in life, is associated with a decrease in the invasive breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women. Among premenopausal women, only vigorous forms of activity may significantly decrease the risk.

Key words: Exercise, breast cancer, case-control study, prevention

           Key Points
  • Recreational physical activity of vigorous intensity during ages 14-20 and 21-34 years protect against breast cancer regardless of menopausal status.
  • Vigorous recreational physical activity at ages >50 years was also associated with reduced postmeno-pausal breast cancer risk.
  • The risk reduction was also observed among post-menopausal women engaged in recreational physical activity of moderate intensity at ages 14-20 years.
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