Research & Articles

Research: The Effect of Regular Exercise on Quality of Life Among Breast Cancer Survivors

In an August 2009 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, The Effect of Regular Exercise on Quality of Life Among Breast Cancer Survivors, researchers from Vanderbilt University reported on 36 month outcomes on a quality of life (QOL) study of 1,829 Chinese women diagnosed with breast cancer: “Exercise was assessed approximately 6, 18, and 36 months after diagnosis, and a metabolic equivalent task (MET) score in hours per week was derived. A cumulative, weighted exercise-MET score was created for regular exercise during the 36-month postdiagnosis period. QOL was evaluated at 6 and 36 months postdiagnosis. Both exercise-MET scores measured during the first 6 or 36 months postdiagnosis and the weighted exercise-MET score over the 36-month postdiagnosis period were positively associated with total QOL score and physical, psychological, and social well-being scores assessed at 36 months postdiagnosis (all P for trend < 0.05). Compared with nonregular exercisers, women with higher exercise-MET scores (8.3 MET-hours/week) were more likely to have higher scores for total QOL and specific QOL domains (all P < 0.05). The exercise-QOL association remained stable over time after cancer diagnosis. This study suggests that regular exercise after breast cancer diagnosis improves QOL.

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