Sedentary time and postmenopausal breast cancer incidence

Sarah J.O. Nomura, Chiranjeev Dash, Vanessa B. Sheppard, Deborah Bowen, Matthew Allison, Wendy Barrington, Rowan Chlebowski, Mace Coday, Lifang Hou, Barbara Howard, Michael LaMonte, Jo Ann E. Manson, Marian L. Neuhouser, Electra Paskett, Maryam Sattari, Marcia Stefanick, Jean Wactawski-Wende, Lucile L. Adams-Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: The objective of this study was to evaluate the prospective association between sedentary time and postmenopausal breast cancer incidence, and whether associations differ by race/ethnicity, physical activity levels, and body measurements. Methods: The Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study is a prospective cohort among women ages 50–79 years at baseline (1994–1998) (analytic cohort = 70,233). Baseline questionnaire data were used to estimate time spent sitting and total sedentary time. Associations between time spent sitting and invasive breast cancer incidence overall (n = 4,115 cases through September 2015), and by hormone receptor subtypes, were investigated using Cox proportional hazards regression. Analyses were replicated stratified by race/ethnicity, body measurements, and physical activity. Results: Among women in this study, 34.5% reported ≤ 5 h/day sitting, 40.9% reported 6–9 h/day and 24.7% reported ≥ 10 h/day. Time spent sitting (≥ 10 vs. ≤5 h/day adjusted HR = 1.00, 95% CI 0.92–1.09) was not associated with breast cancer incidence, regardless of hormone receptor subtype. Associations did not differ by race/ethnicity, physical activity, or body measurements. Conclusions: Results from this study do not support an association between sedentary time and breast cancer incidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1405-1416
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments The WHI program is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through contracts HHSN268201600018C, HHSN268201600001C, HHSN268201600002C, HHSN268201600003C, and HHSN268201600004C. The authors would like to acknowledge the WHI Program Office, including (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda Maryland), Jacques Rossouw, Shari Ludlam, Joan McGowan, Leslie Ford, and Nancy Geller, Clinical Coordinating Center: (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA) Garnet Anderson, Ross Prentice, Andrea LaCroix, and Charles Kooperberg; Investigators and Academic Centers including (Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA) JoAnn E. Manson; (MedStar Health Research Institute/Howard University, Washington, DC) Barbara V. Howard; (Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford, CA) Marcia L. Stefanick; (The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH) Rebecca Jackson; (University of Arizona, Tucson/Phoenix, AZ) Cynthia A. Thomson; (University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY) Jean Wactawski-Wende; (University of Florida, Gainesville/Jacksonville, FL) Marian Limacher; (University of Iowa, Iowa City/Davenport, IA) Jennifer Robinson; (University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA) Lewis Kuller; (Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC) Sally Shumaker; (University of Nevada, Reno, NV) Robert Brun-ner; (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN) Karen L. Margolis; And Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study (Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC) Mark Espeland.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer International Publishing AG.


  • Body composition
  • Breast cancer
  • Physical activity
  • Sedentary
  • Sitting time


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