Physical activity, white blood cell count, and lung cancer risk in a prospective cohort study.

Cruickshanks Lab // Kleins Lab // Publications // Oct 01 2008

PubMed ID: 18843014

Author(s): Sprague BL, Trentham-Dietz A, Klein BE, Klein R, Cruickshanks KJ, Lee KE, Hampton JM. Physical activity, white blood cell count, and lung cancer risk in a prospective cohort study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008 Oct;17(10):2714-22. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-08-0042. PMID 18843014

Journal: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention : A Publication Of The American Association For Cancer Research, Cosponsored By The American Society Of Preventive Oncology, Volume 17, Issue 10, Oct 2008

Previous studies have suggested that physical activity may lower lung cancer risk. The association of physical activity with reduced chronic inflammation provides a potential mechanism, yet few studies have directly related inflammatory markers to cancer incidence. The relation among physical activity, inflammation, and lung cancer risk was evaluated in a prospective cohort of 4,831 subjects, 43 to 86 years of age, in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. A total physical activity index was created by summing up kilocalories per week from sweat-inducing physical activities, city blocks walked, and flights of stairs climbed. Two inflammatory markers, WBC count and serum albumin, were measured at the baseline examination. During an average of 12.8 years of follow-up, 134 incident cases of lung cancer were diagnosed. After multivariable adjustment, participants in the highest tertile of total physical activity index had a 45% reduction in lung cancer risk compared with those in the lowest tertile (hazard ratio, 0.55; 95% confidence interval, 0.35-0.86). Participants with WBC counts in the upper tertile (>or=8 x 10(3)/microL) were 2.81 (95% confidence interval, 1.58-5.01) times as likely to develop lung cancer as those with counts in the lowest tertile (<6.4 x 10(3)/microL). Serum albumin was not related to lung cancer risk. There was no evidence that inflammation mediated the association between physical activity and lung cancer risk, as the physical activity risk estimates were essentially unchanged after adjustment for WBC count. Although the potential for residual confounding by smoking could not be eliminated, these data suggest that physical activity and WBC count are independent risk factors for lung cancer.