Exercise May Protect African American Women From Breast Cancer


Regular exercise, including brisk walking, can decrease the incidence of breast cancer in African American women.

In a recent study at Boston University’s ‘Slone Epidemiology Center’ found evidence linking exercise to a lower rate of breast cancer in African American women.

In a large prospective study of the health of black women, the Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS), researchers gathered info about exercise habits, such as time and type of exercise. They followed more than 44,000 women over a period of 16 years and observed whether they developed breast cancer.

They found that women who exercised vigorously for seven or more hours per week were 25 percent less likely to develop breast cancer, compared to those who exercised less than one hour. Examples of ‘vigorous activity’ include sports such as basketball, swimming, running and aerobics. The results were similar if women walked briskly, but there was no benefit from walking at normal pace.

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