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18.02.2021 | Epidemiology

Association between physical activity and subsequent cardiovascular disease among 5-year breast cancer survivors

Breast Cancer Research and Treatment
Kyae Hyung Kim, Seulggie Choi, Kyuwoong Kim, Jooyoung Chang, Sung Min Kim, Seong Rae Kim, Yoosun Cho, Yun Hwan Oh, Gyeongsil Lee, Joung Sik Son, Sang Min Park
Wichtige Hinweise

Supplementary Information

The online version contains supplementary material available at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10549-021-06140-8.
Kyae Hyung Kim and Seulggie Choi have contributed equally to this article.

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To examine the association of physical activity among long-term breast cancer survivors on the occurrence of subsequent cardiovascular disease (CVD).


We investigated the risk of CVD among 39,775 breast cancer patients who were newly diagnosed in 2006 and survived until 2011 within the Korean National Health Insurance Service database. Patients were followed up from 5 years after breast cancer diagnosis to the date of CVD event, death, or December 31, 2018, whichever came earliest. Every 500 MET-mins/week correspond to 152, 125, and 62.5 min per week of light-, moderate-, and vigorous-intensity physical activity, respectively. Adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for CVD were calculated using Cox proportional hazards regression by physical activity levels.


Compared with those with physical activity of 0 MET-min/week, those with 1–499 (aHR 0.82, 95% CI 0.69–0.98), 500–999 (aHR 0.75, 95% CI 0.63–0.90), and ≥ 1,000 (aHR 0.76, 95% CI 0.63–0.93) MET-min/week of PA had lower risk of CVD. Higher levels of PA were associated with lower risk of stroke (p for trend = 0.016). The benefits of PA on obese and overweight breast cancer survivors were smaller than those in normal weight survivors. The frequency of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) showed a reverse J-curve association with CVD, and the best benefit occurred in the 3–4 times MVPA per week group (aHR 0.59, 95% CI 0.46–0.74).


The study showed that even small amounts of PA may be beneficial in potentially decreasing the risk of CVD, CHD, and stroke in breast cancer survivors. Our result will be useful to prescribe and delivery exercise among long-term breast cancer survivors.

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