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Study fuels debate over whether exercise and body size influence ovarian cancer risk
Date:9/27/2007

Barcelona, Spain: A new study adds fuel to the debate over whether being fat or inactive affects the risk of developing ovarian cancer.

The study, presented by Australian researchers today (Thursday) at the European Cancer Conference (ECCO 14) in Barcelona, found some evidence suggesting exercise might increase the risk. It found no link with body measurements.

The study included 24,479 Australian women aged between 27 and 75, followed for an average of 13 years. Body measurements such as waist circumference, weight, fat mass and non-fat mass were taken and the women were questioned about the frequency and intensity of their physical activity outside of work. Those answers were combined into a formula to score physical activity levels. During the study, 90 of the women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Thirteen of those women did no exercise, 21 reported low levels of physical activity, 37 reported medium levels and 19 were classified as engaging in high levels of physical activity.

After adjusting for other risk factors for ovarian cancer, we found that women with high levels of physical activity were the most likely to develop ovarian cancer, with over twice the risk of those engaging in no physical activity, said the studys presenter, Dr. Fiona Chionh, a medical oncology registrar at Geelong Hospital and researcher at the Cancer Council Victoria, both in Australia. Women with medium levels had the second highest risk, and those with low levels also had an elevated risk compared with those with no exercise. Our results suggest there may be a dose-response effect of physical activity on ovarian cancer risk, although the statistical test for this did not quite reach significant levels. Only the finding on medium levels of physical activity was statistically significant.

Previous studies investigating any links between physical activity or body measurements and the risk of ovarian cancer have produced conflicting results
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Contact: Emma Ross
rosswrite@mac.com
34-932-308-832
ECCO-the European CanCer Conference
Source:Eurekalert

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