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Dose–response relationships between physical activity, social participation, and health-related quality of life in colorectal cancer survivors

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between physical activity (PA), social participation, and health-related quality of life (HQOL) in older, long-term colorectal cancer survivors.

Methods

Male and female colorectal cancer survivors (n = 1,768), aged ≥65 and ≥5 years post-diagnosis, completed surveys on their current PA, social participation, HQOL, health history, and relevant covariates. Analysis of covariance was used to evaluate the cross-sectional relationship between PA and social participation with the SF-36 subscales, as well as the physical component summary score (PCS) and mental health component summary score (MCS).

Results

The final analytic sample (n = 832) was 81.5 ± 5.8 years and 8.2 ± 1.7 years post-diagnosis (mean ± SD). Meeting the current recommendation of 150 min/week of PA was associated with higher PCS (p < 0.001) but not MCS (p = 0.30). Engaging in any social participation, vs. none, was associated with MCS (p = 0.003), but not PCS (p = 0.13). There was a dose–response relationship between moderate–vigorous-intensity PA and PCS (p trend<0.001). Light-intensity PA was not associated with either summary score after adjustment for moderate–vigorous PA (p > 0.05), but in survivors performing no higher-intensity PA, it was associated with both (p < 0.01, p = 0.02, respectively). Participants reporting greater amounts of both planned exercise and non-exercise PA had significantly higher PCS (p trend<0.01, p trend < 0.01, respectively). Individuals participating in greater weekly hours of social participation had higher PCS and MCS (p trend<0.05) than those participating in less.

Conclusions

Among older, long-term colorectal cancer survivors, PA is related to their physical health, while social participation is predominantly related to their mental health.

Implications for Cancer Survivors

Older colorectal cancer survivors who participate socially and are engaged in PA, even non-exercise and light-intensity activities, have higher levels of physical and mental health.

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Acknowledgments

Support for this research was provided by the Aging and Cancer Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison Paul P. Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center through National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant numbers P20 CA103697 and P30 CA14520.

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Correspondence to Lisa H. Colbert.

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Thraen-Borowski, K.M., Trentham-Dietz, A., Edwards, D.F. et al. Dose–response relationships between physical activity, social participation, and health-related quality of life in colorectal cancer survivors. J Cancer Surviv 7, 369–378 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11764-013-0277-7

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