Vigorous Physical Activity May Lower Risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Interview with:
Terry Boyle, PhD
CIHR Fellow, MSFHR Trainee, Honorary UBC Killam Fellow
Cancer Control Research, BC Cancer Agency
School of Population and Public Health, The University of British Columbia
Australian NHMRC Early Career Fellow
The University of Western Australia
Cancer Control Research, BC Cancer Agency
Vancouver BC Canada

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Boyle : Little is known about what causes non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), so trying to identify risk factors is particularly important for the prevention and control of this cancer. There is really good evidence that people who are physically active have a lower risk of some cancers (such as colon and breast cancers), but not many studies have investigated whether being physical active is associated with the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

The key finding of this case-control study was that study participants who were in the higher (second, third, and fourth) quartiles of vigorously intense physical activity performance in their lifetimes had about 25 percent to 30 percent lower risk for NHL, compared with those who were in the lowest (first) quartile of vigorously intense physical activity.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Boyle : We know that being physically active reduces the risk of colon cancer and breast cancer, and also leads to a wide range of other physical and mental health benefits. The findings of this study suggest that people who do vigorous physical activity may also have a lower risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Boyle : Currently there isn’t enough research on this topic to be able to confidently say that being physically active reduces the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, so I’m planning to pool data from several studies to investigate this topic further.

There are several different types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and we know that different types may have different risk factors, so one thing I’m planning to investigate is whether physical activity influences the risk of different types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in different ways.


Lifetime Physical Activity and the Risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Terry Boyle, Richard P. Gallagher, Randy D. Gascoyne, Joseph M. Connors, Nhu D. Le, and John J. Spinelli

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev May 2015 24:873877; doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-14-1303

[wysija_form id=”1″] Interview with: Terry Boyle, PhD (2015). Vigorous Physical Activity May Lower Risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 

Last Updated on May 2, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD