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Nature Research, Nature Communications, 1(11), 2020

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-14389-8



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Physical activity and risks of breast and colorectal cancer: a Mendelian randomisation analysis

Journal article published in 2020 by Nikos Papadimitriou, Niki Dimou, Konstantinos K. Tsilidis ORCID, Barbara Banbury, Richard M. Martin ORCID, Sarah J. Lewis ORCID, Nabila Kazmi, Timothy M. Robinson, Demetrius Albanes, Krasimira Aleksandrova, Sonja I. Berndt, D. Timothy Bishop ORCID, Hermann Brenner, Daniel D. Buchanan ORCID, Bas Bueno-De-Mesquita and other authors.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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AbstractPhysical 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 randomisation 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]: 0.51, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.27 to 0.98, P-value = 0.04) and colorectal cancer (OR: 0.66, 95% CI: 0.48 to 0.90, P-value = 0.01). We found similar magnitude inverse associations for estrogen positive (ER+ve) breast cancer and for colon cancer. 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.