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Sedentary Women at Higher Risk of Ovarian Cancer

Risk increases by 55 percent in women sedentary at least six hours per day

FRIDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women who are sedentary for six hours a day or more have a 55 percent greater risk of developing ovarian cancer compared with less sedentary women, according to a study in the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Alpa V. Patel, M.P.H., and colleagues from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta examined the association between physical activity, sedentary behavior, and ovarian cancer risk using data from 59,695 postmenopausal women who were cancer-free at baseline in 1992 as part of the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort.

The researchers found that there were 314 cases of ovarian cancer in 2001. At baseline, there was no additional risk of ovarian cancer based on past physical activity or recreational activity. However, the study found that women who were more sedentary at baseline (at least six hours per day) had a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer compared with women who were sedentary less than three hours per day (relative risk, 1.55).

"Results from this study suggest that high levels of sedentary behavior may increase the risk of ovarian cancer, but they do not support a major impact of light and moderate physical activity on ovarian cancer risk," Patel and colleagues concluded.

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