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Many cancer survivors experience declines in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and increases in fatigue as a result of cancer and its treatment. Exercise is linked to improvements in these outcomes, but little is known about the role of sedentary behavior. In a large, ethnically-diverse cohort of breast cancer survivors, we examined the relationship between sedentary time, HRQOL, and fatigue, and examined if that relationship differed by recreational moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) level.
Participants were 710 women diagnosed with stage 0-IIIA breast cancer in the Health, Eating, Activity, and Lifestyle Study. Women completed questionnaires at approximately 30-months postdiagnosis (sedentary time; recreational MVPA) and 41-months postdiagnosis (HRQOL; fatigue). In multivariate models, we regressed these outcomes linearly on quartiles of daily sedentary time, and a variable jointly reflecting sedentary time quartiles and MVPA categories (0; >0 to <9; ≥9 MET-hrs/wk).
Sedentary time was not independently related to subscales or summary scores of HRQOL or fatigue. In addition, comparisons of women with high vs. low (Q4:Q1) sedentary time by MVPA level did not result in significant differences in HRQOL or fatigue.
In this breast cancer survivor cohort, self-reported sedentary time was not associated with HRQOL or fatigue, 3.5 years postdiagnosis.
George and Ballard-Barbash are with the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD. Aflano is with the Office of Cancer Survivorship, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD. Smith is with the Applied Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD. Irwin is with the Dept of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT. McTiernan is with the Division of Public Health, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA. Bernstein is with the Dept of Population Sciences, City of Hope Medical Center and Beckman Research Center, Duarte, CA. Baumgartner is with the Dept of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY.