Correlates of physical activity among older breast cancer survivors: Findings from the Women's Health Initiative LILAC study

Jessica L. Krok-Schoen, Michael L. Pennell, Nazmus Saquib, Michelle Naughton, Xiaochen Zhang, Aladdin H. Shadyab, Candyce H. Kroenke, Jennifer W. Bea, Lindsay L. Peterson, Tracy Crane, Jean Wactawski-Wende, Electra D. Paskett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Physical activity can attenuate cancer-related declines in physical functioning, improve emotional well-being, and prolong survival among older (≥65 years) breast cancer survivors. However, factors associated with physical activity among older breast cancer survivors are not well-understood. Materials and methods: Participants were enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Life and Longevity After Cancer (LILAC) study. Descriptive statistics, multiple linear regression, and relative risk [RR] regression were used to assess the association of demographic, clinical, physical and psychosocial variables with the total duration of and participation in physical activity among postmenopausal breast cancer survivors. Age-specific correlates (65–74 years vs. 75–84 years vs. ≥85 years) of physical activity were also examined. Results: The majority of participants (n = 3710, mean age = 78.8 ± 5.9) were white (90.7%) and had in situ/localized breast cancer (78.9%). Women who had higher education (RR = 1.47 for graduate/professional school versus high school or less, 95% CI: 1.32, 1.63), higher self-rated health (RR = 1.04 for 10 point increase, 95% CI:1.02, 1.07), higher physical functioning (RR = 1.03 for 5 point increase, 95% CI: 1.02, 1.04), and higher social support (RR = 1.41 for social support all of the time versus none of the time, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.96), were more likely to engage in any physical activity. Similar results were observed for duration of physical activity. Among women aged <75, radiation therapy, but not chemotherapy, was associated with longer duration of total physical activity (adjusted difference = 19.7 min/week, 95% CI: 6.1, 33.3), but was not associated with duration among older women. The association between pain and duration of moderate/strenuous activity also differed with age: among women aged <75, those with moderate pain averaged fewer minutes of moderate/strenuous physical activity than those with no pain (adjusted difference:−14.4 min/week, 95% CI:−28.5, −0.1). However, among women aged ≥85, those with moderate pain averaged more minutes of moderate/strenuous physical activity per week than those with no pain (adjusted difference:16.6 min/week; 95% CI:2.9, 30.3). Discussion: Multiple factors were associated with physical activity among older breast cancer survivors in the WHI. Future physical activity interventions should focus on age-related (e.g., comorbidities) and treatment-related factors (e.g., radiation) as well as certain subgroups, such as women with higher symptom burden.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Geriatric Oncology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • cancer survivorship
  • Geriatric oncology
  • Older adults
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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