Article

Journal of Cancer Survivorship

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 247-252

The association between television watching time and all-cause mortality after breast cancer

  • Stephanie M. GeorgeAffiliated withApplied Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute Email author 
  • , Ashley W. SmithAffiliated withApplied Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute
  • , Catherine M. AlfanoAffiliated withOffice of Cancer Survivorship, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute
  • , Heather R. BowlesAffiliated withApplied Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute
  • , Melinda L. IrwinAffiliated withDepartment of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health
  • , Anne McTiernanAffiliated withDivision of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • , Leslie BernsteinAffiliated withDepartment of Population Sciences, City of Hope Medical Center and Beckman Research Center
  • , Kathy B. BaumgartnerAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology and Population Health, University of Louisville
  • , Rachel Ballard-BarbashAffiliated withApplied Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute

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Abstract

Purpose

Sedentary time is a rapidly emerging independent risk factor for mortality in the general population, but its prognostic effect among cancer survivors is unknown. In a multiethnic, prospective cohort of breast cancer survivors, we hypothesized that television watching time would be independently associated with an increased risk of death from any cause.

Methods

The Health, Eating, Activity, and Lifestyle Study cohort included 687 women diagnosed with local or regional breast cancer. On average 30 (±4) months postdiagnosis, women completed self-report assessments on time spent sitting watching television/videos in a typical day in the previous year. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % confidence intervals (CI) for death from any cause (n = 89) during the 7 years of follow-up.

Results

Television time (top tertile vs. bottom tertile) was positively related to risk of death (HR, 1.94; 95 % CI, 1.02, 3.66, p trend = 0.024), but the association was attenuated and not statistically significant after adjustment for aerobic moderate-vigorous intensity physical activity (HR, 1.70; 95 % CI, 0.89, 3.22, p trend = 0.14) and all covariates (HR, 1.39; 95 % CI, 0.69, 2.82, p trend = 0.48).

Conclusion

In this first published investigation on this topic, we did not observe a statistically significant multivariate-adjusted association between television watching time and risk of death among women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Implications for cancer survivors

These results begin an evidence base on this topic that can be built upon to inform lifestyle recommendations for this expanding, aging population.

Keywords

Sedentary behavior Exercise Breast neoplasm Mortality Physical activity