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Physical activity and risk of endometrial cancer: an Italian case–control study

Tavani, Alessandraa; Bravi, Francescaa b; Dal Maso, Luiginoc; Zucchetto, Antonellac; Bosetti, Cristinaa; Pelucchi, Claudioa; Montella, Mauriziod; Franceschi, Silviae; La Vecchia, Carloa b

European Journal of Cancer Prevention: August 2009 - Volume 18 - Issue 4 - p 303-306
doi: 10.1097/CEJ.0b013e32831bc3c4
Research papers: Gynecological Cancer

Most epidemiological studies on the relationship between physical activity and endometrial cancer found risk reductions of about 25–30% among most active women, but results were not consistent among studies. A multicentric case–control study was conducted in Italy between 1992 and 2006. Cases were 454 women with incident, histologically confirmed endometrial cancer and controls were 908 women admitted to hospital for acute non-neoplastic, nonhormonal conditions. Multivariate odds ratios (ORs) and the corresponding 95% confidence intervals were obtained after allowance for major potential confounding factors. The ORs of endometrial cancer for women in the highest level of occupational physical activity (compared with the lowest) were 1.69, 1.33, 1.17 and 0.82, respectively, at ages 12, 15–19, 30–39 and 50–59 years, with no trend in risk at any age. The corresponding ORs for leisure-time physical activity were 0.82, 0.78, 1.12 and 0.97. The risk of endometrial cancer for each level of occupational physical activity at age 30–39 years was not significantly heterogeneous across strata of age at diagnosis, body mass index, menopausal status and education. These findings do not support a strong relationship between physical activity and endometrial cancer risk.

aIstituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche ‘Mario Negri’, Milan

bIstituto di Statistica Medica e Biometria ‘G.A. Maccacaro’, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan

cUnità di Epidemiologia e Biostatistica, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico, Aviano (PN)

dServizio di Epidemiologia, Istituto Tumori ‘Fondazione Pascale’, Napoli, Italy

eInternational Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon Cedex, France

Correspondence to Professor Carlo La Vecchia, MD, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche ‘Mario Negri’, Via Giuseppe La Masa 19, Milan 20156, Italy

Tel: +39 0239014527; fax: +39 0233200231; e-mail:

Received 11 September 2008 Accepted 17 September 2008

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.