Vigorous physical activity and risk of breast cancer in the African American breast cancer epidemiology and risk consortium

Zhihong Gong, Chi Chen Hong, Elisa V. Bandera, Lucile L. Adams-Campbell, Melissa A. Troester, Song Yi Park, Kathryn A. McInerney, Gary Zirpoli, Andrew F. Olshan, Julie R. Palmer, Christine B. Ambrosone, Lynn Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The relationship between physical activity and breast cancer risk has been extensively studied among women of European descent, with most studies reporting inverse associations. However, data on American women of African ancestry (AA) and by tumor subtypes are sparse. Thus, we examined associations of vigorous exercise and breast cancer risk overall, and by estrogen receptor (ER) status, in the African American Breast Cancer Epidemiology and Risk Consortium. We pooled data from four large studies on 2482 ER+ cases, 1374 ER− cases, and 16,959 controls. Multivariable logistic regression was used to compute odds ratios (OR) and 95 % confidence intervals (CI) for the risk of breast cancer overall, and polytomous logistic regression was used to model the risk of ER+ and ER− cancer. Recent vigorous exercise was associated with a statistically significant, modestly decreased risk for breast cancer overall (OR 0.88, 95 % CI 0.81–0.96) and for ER+ cancer (OR 0.88, 95 % CI 0.80–0.98), but not for ER− cancer (OR 0.93, 95 % CI 0.82–1.06). Overall, there was no strong evidence of effect modification by age, menopausal status, body mass index, and parity. However, our data were suggestive of modification by family history, such that an inverse association was present among women without a family history but not among those with a relative affected by breast cancer. Results from this large pooled analysis provide evidence that vigorous physical activity is associated with a modestly reduced risk of breast cancer in AA women, specifically ER+ cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-356
Number of pages10
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


  • African American women
  • Breast cancer
  • Subtype
  • Vigorous physical activity

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