Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Impact of Physical Inactivity on Risk of Developing Cancer of the Uterine Cervix: A Case-Control Study

Szender, James Brian MD; Cannioto, Rikki PhD, EdD; Gulati, Nicolas R.; Schmitt, Kristina L. BS; Friel, Grace MA; Minlikeeva, Albina MS; Platek, Alexis BS; Gower, Emily H. MS; Nagy, Ryan BS; Khachatryan, Edgar BS; Mayor, Paul C. MD; Kasza, Karin A. MA; Lele, Shashikant B. MD; Odunsi, Kunle MD, PhD; Moysich, Kirsten B. PhD

Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease: July 2016 - Volume 20 - Issue 3 - p 230–233
doi: 10.1097/LGT.0000000000000210
Original Research Articles: Cervix and HPV

Objective In this study, we investigated whether physical inactivity was associated with risk of cervical cancer in women treated at an American cancer hospital.

Methods This case-control study included 128 patients with cervical cancer and 512 controls matched on age. Controls were women suspected of having but not ultimately diagnosed with a neoplasm. Physical inactivity was defined in accordance with the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Thus, participants reporting, on average, no moderate or vigorous recreational physical activity were classified as inactive. Unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results Compared with noncancer controls, those with cervical cancer had significantly increased odds of reporting abstinence from recreational physical activity (OR, 2.43; 95% CI, 1.56–3.80). No association was noted between occupational-related physical inactivity and cervical cancer (OR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.58–1.36).

Conclusions Our findings suggest that abstinence from regular recreational physical activity is associated with increased odds of cervical cancer. To our knowledge, this is the first US-based study examining these associations. Given the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, this study has identified yet another potential public health benefit to regular physical activity. Further investigation is needed using a larger sample and prospectively collected data to characterize dose of activity to mitigate risk and the optimal window of susceptibility.

Physical inactivity may increase a woman’s risk of developing cervical cancer when compared with those women who are physically active.

1Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute; 2Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, State University of New York at Buffalo; 3Department Cancer Prevention and Control, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo; 4Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY; 5College of Medicine, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Erie, PA; 6Independent Health; 7Department of Health Behavior, Roswell Park Cancer Institute; and 8Center for Immunotherapy, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

Correspondence to: Kirsten B. Moysich, PhD, Department of Cancer Prevention and Control, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Elm and Carlton Streets, Buffalo, NY. E-mail:

This research was funded by support from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute Grant NCI P30CA016056 and NIH 5T32CA108456. The authors deny any potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research presented herein.

Copyright © 2016 by the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology