Accession Number:



Does Vigorous Exercise Prevent Breast Cancer in Women?

Descriptive Note:

Final rept. 30 Sep 1997-29 Sep 1999

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The original purpose of the IDEA award was to recruit 36,000 additional runners to add to an existing cohort of 14,000 runners in order to create a total cohort of 50,000 who vigorously exercise. Funding for surveillance was deferred to a future funding application. We completed the design of the initial survey questionnaire and recruited the sample through direct mail solicitation of female running magazine subscribers and race participants. To date, we have received 31,647 questionnaires under DOD funding and should receive at least 1,800 of the additional 4,353 needed to achieve the target of 36,000 women runners. At least one mechanism for the protection of breast cancer is suggested by our baseline questionnaires. The onset of menopause or amenorrhea occurred significantly earlier in association with longer distances run per week. Cessation of periods was reported to occur 5 years earlier in women running 40 or more miles per week 39.5 and - 10.2 years compared to those running less than 10 44.43 and - 8.54 years. There was also a tendency significant at P0.0001 for menses to have started about three months later in the higher mileage runners. The effect is however small compared to the apparent acceleration of menopause.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Stress Physiology

Distribution Statement: