Domain-specific physical activity and the risk of colorectal cancer: Results from the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study

Shahid Mahmood, Dallas R. English, Robert J. MacInnis, Amalia Karahalios, Neville Owen, Roger L. Milne, Graham G. Giles, Brigid M. Lynch

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Background: Physical activity reduces the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), but the relevant evidence derives primarily from self-reported recreational and occupational activity. Less is known about the contribution of other domains of physical activity, such as transport and household. We examined associations between domain-specific physical activities and CRC risk within the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study. Methods: Analyses included 23,586 participants who were free from invasive colorectal cancer and had completed the International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Long Form at follow-up 2 (2003-2007). Cox regression, with age as the time metric, was used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for ordinal categories of each physical activity domain. Results: Adjusted HRs for the highest versus the lowest categories of physical activity were 0.71 (95% CI: 0.51-0.98; p trend = 0.03) for recreational activity; 0.80 (95% CI: 0.49-1.28; p trend = 0.38) for occupational activity; 0.90 (95% CI: 0.68-1.19; p trend = 0.20) for transport activity; and 1.07 (95% CI: 0.82-1.40; p trend = 0.46) for household activity. Conclusions: Recreational activity was associated with reduced CRC risk. A non-significant, inverse association was observed for occupational activity, whereas no association was found for transport or household domains.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1063
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2018


  • Colon
  • Domain-specific physical activity
  • Exercise
  • Hazard ratio
  • Survival analysis

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