Cancers in France in 2015 attributable to insufficient physical activity

Publié le 1 Juin 2019
Mis à jour le 5 juillet 2019

Introduction: insufficient physical activity is a known risk factor for various co-morbidities, including cancer. Globally, its prevalence has increased markedly over the past decades. The aim of this study was to estimate the proportion and number of cancers that were attributable to insufficient physical activity in France in 2015. Methods: population attributable fractions (PAFs) and numbers of cancer cases attributable to insufficient physical activity (<30 min daily of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity) were estimated by age, sex and cancer site. Assuming a 10-year lag-period, PAFs were calculated using physical activity prevalence from a cross-sectional French population survey and cancer-specific relative risks. Results: about half of all French adults were found to be insufficiently physically active, with great variation by age and sex. In 2015, an estimated 2973 cancer cases diagnosed in French adults aged 30y+ were attributable to insufficient physical activity, corresponding to 0.8% of all cancer cases (0.2% in men and 1.6% in women). This comprised 3.8% of all postmenopausal breast cancers (1620 cases), 3.6% of all colon cancers (902 cases) and 6.0% of all cancers of the corpus uteri (450 cases). If at least half of the recommended physical activity level was achieved, 1095 cancer cases could have been avoided. Conclusion: insufficient physical activity is associated to about 3000 cancer cases in France, a country with comparatively low but increasing prevalence of this risk factor. This result is important for setting priorities in cancer prevention programmes aiming to increase physical activity in France and Europe in general.

Auteur : Touillaud Marina, Arnold Melina, Dossus Laure, Freisling Heinz, Bray Freddie, Margaritis Irène, Deschamps Valérie, Soerjomataram Isabelle
Cancer Epidemiology, 2019, vol. 60, p. 216-220