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Breast Cancer Risk in African Americans Lowered by Regular Exercise
- Updated: August 14, 2014
A new study reveals that regular exercise by African American women can lower the risk of developing breast cancer.
There are a number of benefits associated with exercising and in fact, researchers at the Boston University Medical Center found regular exercise substantially lowers the risk of breast cancer amongst African American women.
For this study, researchers used information from the Black Women’s Health Study or BWHS. The study followed over 44,000 women of the African American race during a period of 16 years, with observation on the development of breast cancer. The information also contained data about participant’s exercise habits, to include how much time was spent exercising each week and the types of exercise being done.
After making a thorough review and analysis, researchers discovered that for women who exercised a minimum of seven hours per week, there was a 25% less risk of developing breast cancer in comparison to those who had exercised on average less than 60 minute a week. Although the benefits were not exactly the same for someone who exercised seven hours a week, there was a marked level of benefit for women who walked briskly or performed moderately intense exercises.
One author of the study said that although review panels in the past accepted there being a link between incidence of breast cancer and physical exercise, studies typically included only white women. This was the first study on a large scale to support that a routine of vigorous exercise might decrease breast cancer risk in women who are African American.
Another study conducted in early 2014 reported similar findings. In this case, the study’s author said exercise lowers the risk of a women developing breast cancer no matter the age, weight, when they started to exercise, or the type of exercise performed. Of course, overdoing exercise is not good either since too much exercise can put the heart at risk.