Authors: Friedenreich CM, Woolcott CG, McTiernan A, Ballard-Barbash R, Brant RF, Stanczyk FZ, Terry T, Boyd NF, Yaffe MJ, Irwin ML, Jones CA, Yasui Y, Campbell KL, McNeely ML, Karvinen KH, Wang Q, Courneya KS
Title: Alberta physical activity and breast cancer prevention trial: sex hormone changes in a year-long exercise intervention among postmenopausal women.
Journal: J Clin Oncol 28(9):1458-66
Date: 2010 Mar 20
Abstract: PURPOSE: We examined how an aerobic exercise intervention influenced circulating estradiol, estrone, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), androstenedione, and testosterone levels, which may be involved in the association between physical activity and breast cancer risk. METHODS: A two-center, two-arm randomized controlled trial of exercise was conducted in 320 postmenopausal, sedentary women age 50 to 74 years. Participants were randomly assigned to a 1-year aerobic exercise intervention of 225 min/wk (n = 160) or to a control group who maintained their usual level of activity (n = 160). Baseline, 6-month, and 12-month assessments of estrone, estradiol, androstenedione, and testosterone were quantified by radioimmunoassay after extraction, and SHBG was quantified by an immunometric assay. Intent-to-treat analyses were performed using linear mixed models. RESULTS: Blood data were available on 309 women (96.6%) at 12 months. Women in the intervention group exercised an average of 3.6 d/wk for 178 min/wk. At 12 months, statistically significant reductions in estradiol (treatment effect ratio [TER] = 0.93; 95% CI, 0.88 to 0.98) and free estradiol (TER = 0.91; 95% CI, 0.87 to 0.96) and increases in SHBG (TER = 1.04; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.07) were observed in the exercise group compared with the control group. No significant differences in estrone, androstenedione, and testosterone levels were observed between exercisers and controls at 12 months. CONCLUSION: This trial found that previously sedentary postmenopausal women can adhere to a moderate- to vigorous-intensity exercise program that results in changes in estradiol and SHBG concentrations that are consistent with a lower risk for postmenopausal breast cancer.