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Leisure Time Sitting Linked to Increased Risk of Specific Cancers

Effect was not seen in men, and held even after researchers factored out a lack of exercise

WEDNESDAY, July 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) — High levels of time spent sitting may increase a woman’s odds for cancer, particularly multiple myeloma, breast, and ovarian cancers, according to a study published online June 30 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Alpa Patel, M.D., who directs the Cancer Prevention Study-3 at the American Cancer Society, and colleagues tracked outcomes for 146,722 men and women who were cancer-free at the start of the study and then followed from 1992 to 2009. During that time, 30,791 of the participants developed cancer.

More time spent sitting during leisure time was associated with a 10 percent overall higher risk of cancer in women, after the researchers adjusted for factors such as physical activity levels and weight. There was no such link found in men, however. Among women, specific cancers associated with high levels of sitting during leisure time were multiple myeloma, invasive breast cancer, and ovarian cancer.

“Further research is warranted to better understand the differences in associations between men and women,” Patel and colleagues write.

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