While many studies have examined the association of aerobic physical activity and cancer mortality, little attention has been given to muscle-strengthening activities (MSA) as a predictor of cancer mortality. Accordingly, the 2018 physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, which recommends that adults engage in MSA two or more days a week, has called for more research on the association between MSA and cancer. In an article published in the current issue of Cancer Cause and Control, an interdisciplinary team of investigators from the University of Nebraska Medical Center examined the association of muscle strengthening activity and cancer mortality. They used data from the 1998 to 2009 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), which were linked to records in the National Death Index. The investigators found that meeting the MSA guideline was associated with a 19 percent lower risk of cancer mortality.
The authors concluded that that “The American Cancer society and other agencies that promote cancer prevention and control can use the results of this research to promote MSA and highlight that engaging in MSA twice a week is a protective factor against cancer mortality over and above the effect of aerobic exercise. Furthermore, given that the association of MSA with cancer mortality holds regardless of whether or not an individual has a chronic condition (including a disability that may limit mobility) or had a prior cancer diagnosis, clinicians may consider promoting MSA, in addition to aerobic exercise, among their patients with chronic conditions or who are cancer survivors.”Friday Letter Submission