Race/Ethnicity, Physical Activity, and Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Survivors

Outcomes Research Branch, Applied Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892-7344, USA.
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention (Impact Factor: 4.13). 02/2009; 18(2):656-63. DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-08-0352
Source: PubMed


To examine associations between recreational physical activity and quality of life (QOL) in a multiethnic cohort of breast cancer survivors, specifically testing whether associations are consistent across racial/ethnic groups after accounting for relevant medical and demographic factors that might explain disparities in QOL outcomes.
Data were collected from a population-based cohort of non-Hispanic White (n = 448), Black (n = 197), and Hispanic (n = 84) breast cancer survivors (stage 0-IIIa) in the Health, Eating, Activity, and Lifestyle Study. Physical activity was assessed approximately 2.5 years after breast cancer diagnosis, with QOL assessed on average 6 to 12 months later. We used structural equation modeling to examine relationships between meeting recommended levels of physical activity and QOL, stratifying by race/ethnicity and adjusting for other demographic, comorbidity, and treatment effects.
Structural equation modeling indicated that meeting recommended levels of physical activity had significant positive associations with QOL for Black and non-Hispanic White women (P < 0.05). Fewer Black women reported meeting recommended physical activity levels (P < 0.001), but meeting recommendations was associated with better QOL. Post hoc tests showed that meeting physical activity recommendations was specifically associated with better vitality, social functioning, emotional roles, and global QOL (P < 0.05 for all).
These results suggest that meeting recommended levels of physical activity is associated with better QOL in non-Hispanic White and Black breast cancer survivors. Findings may help support future interventions among breast cancer survivors and promote supportive care that includes physical activity, although more research is needed to determine these relationships among Hispanic and other ethnic minority women.

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