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Women's Health Watch

Walking Helps Breast Cancer Risk

Published Online: Saturday, November 1, 2003   [ Request Print ]

    Physical activity can help women reduce their risk of breast cancer, suggest the findings of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (September 10, 2003). Brisk walking for 1 to 2 hours weekly can help older women lower their risk by ~20%, even if they have used hormone pills to alleviate symptoms of menopause.

    To reach their conclusion, the researchers evaluated data on 74,171 women aged 50 to 79 who participated in the Women?s Health Initiative study from 1993 to 1998.Women who did 1.25 to 2.50 hours of moderate exercise weekly had an 18% lower risk of breast cancer, compared with inactive women. The study also adds weight to the growing evidence that exercise for women need not be strenuous for them to garner substantial health benefits, even if it is started later in life.

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