Does Vigorous Exercise Reduce Lifetime Lymphoma Risk?

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Evidence shows that an active lifestyle can reduce the risk of cancers such as colon cancer and breast cancer, but what about non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL)?

This is the question asked by Terry Boyle, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Cancer Control Research at the B.C. Cancer Agency and the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia in Canada, and colleagues.

Among the team's goals was to further identify potential risk factors that might go into the prevention and control of NHL.

In order to find out, Boyle et al utilized data from a case-control study conducted between 2000 and 2004 in British Columbia, This study recruited 820 NHL patients of different ages from the B.C. Cancer Registry. The team then took 848 randomly selected controls matched for age, gender, and residential location, from the Client Registry of the British Columbia Ministry of Health.

The team used a self-reported questionnaire to learn about the mild, moderate, or vigorous physical activity habits for each decade of life.

Using a metabolic-equivalent (MET) value to the different types of physical activity, the team calculated the average number of MET-hours per week of physical activity for each recruit's lifetime.

What they found was that people who reported more vigorous and intense physical activity in their lifetimes had between 25 to 30 percent lower risk for NHL when compared to those who reported the least lifetime amount of activity.

This vigorous activity did not confer any greater benefit on any one specific age group over any other.

The team concluded that "lifetime vigorous-intensity physical activity was associated with a significantly reduced risk of NHL," before adding that "more research on physical activity intensity and timing in relation to NHL risk is warranted."

The team reported its findings in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Source: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention

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