Cancer Causes & Control

, 22:1647

Timing and intensity of recreational physical activity and the risk of subsite-specific colorectal cancer

Authors

    • School of Population HealthThe University of Western Australia
    • Western Australian Institute for Medical ResearchThe University of Western Australia
  • Jane Heyworth
    • School of Population HealthThe University of Western Australia
  • Fiona Bull
    • School of Population HealthThe University of Western Australia
  • Sarah McKerracher
    • School of Population HealthThe University of Western Australia
  • Cameron Platell
    • School of SurgeryThe University of Western Australia
  • Lin Fritschi
    • Western Australian Institute for Medical ResearchThe University of Western Australia
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10552-011-9841-5

Cite this article as:
Boyle, T., Heyworth, J., Bull, F. et al. Cancer Causes Control (2011) 22: 1647. doi:10.1007/s10552-011-9841-5

Abstract

Purpose

Although there is convincing evidence that physical activity reduces colon cancer risk, there are important questions that remain unanswered about the association. These include the timing and intensity of activity required to optimally reduce risk, and whether physical activity has a different effect on cancers at different sites within the colon. We conducted a case–control study to investigate these issues.

Methods

A case–control study of colorectal cancer was conducted in Western Australia in 2005–2007. Data were collected on various risk factors. The estimated effects of recreational physical activity on the risk of cancers of the distal colon, proximal colon, and rectum were analyzed using multinomial logistic regression. This analysis included 870 cases and 996 controls.

Results

The risk of distal colon cancer was reduced by performing a high level of vigorous-intensity activity between the ages 19 and 34 years (women), 35 and 50 years (men), after the age of 51 years (men and women), and consistently over the adult lifetime (men and women). The risk of rectal cancer was reduced by performing a high level of vigorous activity between the ages 35 and 50 years (men), and consistently over the adult lifetime (men). Proximal colon cancer risk was not associated with physical activity in any of the age periods or over the adult lifetime. Moderate intensity activity did not reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

Conclusion

Physical activity may have a greater effect on the risk of distal colon cancer than proximal colon cancer. Vigorous physical activity is required to reduce colorectal cancer risk.

Keywords

Colon cancerRectal cancerPhysical activityCase control studies

Abbreviations

AOR

Adjusted odds ratio

CI

Confidence interval

MET

Metabolic equivalent

Supplementary material

10552_2011_9841_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (21 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 22 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011