Age-related differences in exercise and quality of life among breast cancer survivors
Harrison, Sheree, Hayes, Sandra C., & Newman, Beth (2009) Age-related differences in exercise and quality of life among breast cancer survivors. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 42(1), pp. 67-74.
Purpose: Physical activity has become a focus of cancer recovery research as it has the potential to reduce treatment-related burden and optimize health-related quality of life (HRQoL). However, the potential for physical activity to influence recovery may be age-dependent. This paper describes physical activity levels and HRQoL among younger and older women after surgery for breast cancer and explores the correlates of physical inactivity. Methods: A population-based sample of breast cancer patients diagnosed in South-East Queensland, Australia, (n=287) were assessed once every three months, from 6 to 18 months post-surgery. The Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast questionnaire (FACTB+4) and items from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) questionnaire were used to measure HRQoL and physical activity, respectively. Physical activity was assigned metabolic equivalent task (MET) values, and categorized as < 3, 3 to 17.9 and 18+ MET-hours/weeks. Descriptive statistics, generalized linear models with age stratification (<50 years versus 50+ years), and logistic regression were used for analyses (p=0.05, two-tailed). Results: Younger women who engaged in 3 or more MET-hours/week of physical activity reported a higher HRQoL at 18 months compared to their more sedentary counterparts (p<0.05). Older women reported similar HRQoL irrespective of activity level and consistently reported clinically higher HRQoL than younger women. Increasing age, being overweight or obese, and restricting use of the treated side at six months post-surgery increased the likelihood of sedentary behavior (OR>3, p<0.05). Conclusions: Age influences the potential to observe HRQoL benefits related to physical activity participation. These results also provide relevant information for the design of exercise interventions for breast cancer survivors and highlights that some groups of women are at greater risk of long-term sedentary behavior.
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