Physical Activity and Risk of Lung Cancer: A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies


Background: Previous studies investigating the association of physical activity with risk of lung cancerreported conflicting results. In order to update and improve available evidence on any link, a meta-analysis wasperformed.
Method: We searched the PubMed database for prospective cohort studies investigating the relationof physical activity with risk of lung cancer. The pooled relative risk (RR) with its 95% confidence intervals(95%CI) was used to assess the association.
Results: We included 14 prospective studies with a total of 1,644,305participants, with 14,074 incident lung cancer cases documented during follow-up. Meta-analysis of all 14 studiessuggested both high and medium levels of physical activity to be associated with decreased risk of lung cancercompared to the reference group with low level of physical activity (for high level, RR = 0.77, 95%CI 0.73–0.81, P< 0.001; for medium level, RR = 0.87, 95%CI 0.83–0.90, P < 0.001). Subgroup analyses by gender found obviousassociations in both men and women. No publication bias was observed.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest thathigh and medium levels of physical activity have a beneficial effect on lung cancer by reducing the overall riskof tumour development among both men and women.