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Physical activity and risks of breast and colorectal cancer: A Mendelian randomization analysis

By Nikos Papadimitriou, Niki Dimou, Konstantinos Tsilidis, Barbara Banbury, Richard M Martin, Sarah J Lewis, Nabila Kazmi, Timothy M Robinson, Demetrius Albanes, Krasimira Aleksandrova, Sonja I. Berndt, D. Timothy Bishop, Hermann Brenner, Daniel D Buchanan, Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita, Peter T. Campbell, Sergi Castellví-Bel, Andrew T. Chan, Jenny Chang-Claude, Merete Ellingjord-Dale, Jane C. Figueiredo, Steven J. Gallinger, Graham G Giles, Edward Giovannucci, Stephen B. Gruber, Andrea Gsur, Jochen Hampe, Heather Hampel, Sophia Harlid, Tabitha A Harrison, Michael Hoffmeister, John L Hopper, Li Hsu, José María Huerta, Jeroen R. Huyghe, Mark A. Jenkins, Temitope O Keku, Tilman Kühn, Carlo La Vecchia, Loic Le Marchand, Christopher I. Li, Li Li, Annika Lindblom, Noralane M. Lindor, Brigid Lynch, Sanford D Markowitz, Giovanna Masala, Anne M May, Roger Milne, Evelyn Monninkhof, Lorena Moreno, Victor Moreno, Polly A. Newcomb, Kenneth Offit, Vittorio Perduca, Paul Pharoah, Elizabeth A. Platz, John D. Potter, Gad Rennert, Elio Riboli, Maria-Jose Sánchez, Stephanie L. Schmit, Robert E. Schoen, Gianluca Severi, Sabina Sieri, Martha L. Slattery, Mingyang Song, Catherine M. Tangen, Stephen N Thibodeau, Ruth C. Travis, Antonia Trichopoulou, Cornelia M. Ulrich, Franzel JB van Duijnhoven, Bethany Van Guelpen, Pavel Vodicka, Emily White, Alicja Wolk, Michael O Woods, Anna H. Wu, Ulrike Peters, Marc J Gunter, Neil Murphy

Posted 09 Sep 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/762484 (published DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-14389-8)

Physical activity has been associated with lower risks of breast and colorectal cancer in epidemiological studies; however, it is unknown if these associations are causal or confounded. In two-sample Mendelian randomization analyses, using summary genetic data from the UK Biobank and GWA consortia, we found that a one standard deviation increment in average acceleration was associated with lower risks of breast cancer (odds ratio [OR]: 0.59, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.42 to 0.84, P-value=0.003) and colorectal cancer (OR: 0.66, 95% CI: 0.53 to 0.82, P-value=2*E-4). We found similar magnitude inverse associations by breast cancer subtype and by colorectal cancer anatomical site. Our results support a potentially causal relationship between higher physical activity levels and lower risks of breast cancer and colorectal cancer. Based on these data, the promotion of physical activity is probably an effective strategy in the primary prevention of these commonly diagnosed cancers.

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