Women who exercised for at least 150 minutes a week are less likely to develop endometrial cancer, regardless of whether they are overweight or not, a new study has said.
Hannah Arem, a doctoral student at Yale School of Public Health, and colleagues examined the data collected from a case-control study led by associate professor Herbert Yu.
The study compared 668 women with endometrial cancer to 665 women of the same age who did not have the disease.
"This study is consistent with other studies that strongly support the association between physical activity and lower risk of endometrial cancer," said Arem.
Those who exercised for 150 minutes a week or more had a 34 percent reduced risk of endometrial cancer compared with those women who were inactive.
This association was more pronounced among active women with a body mass index (BMI) less than 25, or underweight women, where the reduction in risk was 73 percent compared with inactive women with a BMI more than 25, or what is commonly considered overweight.
Although BMI showed a strong association with endometrial cancer, even women who were overweight, but still active, had a 52 percent lower risk.
"Clearly, programs should be in place to increase the level of physical activity in women," said Arem.