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SportsMedUpdate
  1. Martin P Schwellnus
  1. University of Cape Town, South Africa

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The impact of physical activity on all-cause mortality in men and women after a cancer diagnosis

Background

Although increased physical activity is associated with benefits in patients with cancer, there are still limited data to suggest that increasing physical activity can reduce mortality in patients with cancer.

Research question/s

Do different types of physical activity (domestic, walking, sports) reduce mortality in patients with cancer?

Methodology

Subjects: 293 participants (female=65.5%, age 64.1±10.5 years) with diagnosed cancer (mean time since diagnosis=4.9±1.5 years) (breast 47.8%, bowel 21.1%, bladder 12.6%, prostate 9.2%, lung/trachea 3.8%).

Experimental procedure: All the subjects were part of national health survey and were interviewed to determine their physical activity (frequency of >20 min sessions per week in leisure sports, walking and domestic physical activity). All-cause mortality was documented in the cohort over a mean follow-up period of 5.9±3.2 years, and there were 78 deaths during the follow-up period.

Measures of outcome: HR of death in different categories of physical activity (adjusted).

Main finding/s

Conclusion/s:

In a prospective cohort study in patients with cancer, participation in an average of >3 sessions of more vigorous exercise per week (>20 min/session) was associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality after 6 years.

Evidence-based rating: 7.5/10

Clinical interest rating: 7.5/10

Type of study: Prospective cohort study

Methodological considerations: Small sample size, previous physical activity not well documented, multiple cancers studied

Keywords: Exercise, cancer, mortality, survival, epidemiology

Provenance and peer review: Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed

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Background

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