Physical activity and risk of prostate cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort

Nina Føns Johnsen, Anne Tjønneland, Birthe L R Thomsen, Jane Christensen, Steffen Loft, Christine Friedenreich, Timothy J Key, Naomi E Allen, Petra H Lahmann, Lotte Mejlvig Nielsen, Kim Overvad, Rudolf Kaaks, Sabine Rohrmann, Heiner Boing, Gesthimani Misirli, Antonia Trichopoulou, Dimosthenis Zylis, Rosario Tumino, Valeria Pala, H Bas Bueno-de-MesquitaLambertus A Kiemeney, Laudina Rodríguez Suárez, Carlos A Gonzalez, Maria-José Sánchez, José María Huerta, Aurelio Barricarte Gurrea, Jonas Manjer, Elisabet Wirfält, Kay-Tee Khaw, Nick Wareham, Paolo Boffetta, Lars Egevad, Sabina Rinaldi, Elio Riboli

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68 Citations (Scopus)


The evidence concerning the possible association between physical activity and the risk of prostate cancer is inconsistent and additional data are needed. We examined the association between risk of prostate cancer and physical activity at work and in leisure time in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort. In our study, including 127,923 men aged 20-97 years from 8 European countries, 2,458 cases of prostate cancer were identified during 8.5 years of followup. Using the Cox proportional hazards model, we investigated the associations between prostate cancer incidence rate and occupational activity and leisure time activity in terms of participation in sports, cycling, walking and gardening; a metabolic equivalent (MET) score based on weekly time spent on the 4 activities; and a physical activity index. MET hours per week of leisure time activity, higher score in the physical activity index, participation in any of the 4 leisure time activities, and the number of leisure time activities in which the participants were active were not associated with prostate cancer incidence. However, higher level of occupational physical activity was associated with lower risk of advanced stage prostate cancer (p(trend) = 0.024). In conclusion, our data support the hypothesis of an inverse association between advanced prostate cancer risk and occupational physical activity, but we found no support for an association between prostate cancer risk and leisure time physical activity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Pages (from-to)902-8
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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