Usual physical activity and endogenous sex hormones in postmenopausal women: the European prospective investigation into cancer-norfolk population study.

TitleUsual physical activity and endogenous sex hormones in postmenopausal women: the European prospective investigation into cancer-norfolk population study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsChan, M-F, Dowsett, M, Folkerd, E, Bingham, S, Wareham, N, Luben, R, Welch, A, Khaw, K-T
JournalCancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev
Date Published2007 May
Keywords17-alpha-Hydroxyprogesterone, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Analysis of Variance, Androstenedione, Cohort Studies, Cross-Sectional Studies, Estradiol, Estrone, Female, Humans, Middle Aged, Motor Activity, Postmenopause, Prospective Studies, Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin, Surveys and Questionnaires, Testosterone, United Kingdom

BACKGROUND: Short-term trials indicate that intensive physical activity may influence endogenous sex hormone concentrations. However, the relationship between usual daily physical activity and endogenous hormones in postmenopausal women in the general population is still uncertain.OBJECTIVE AND METHODS: To determine the relationship between usual physical activity and endogenous sex hormones in postmenopausal women. A cross-sectional population-based study of 2,082 postmenopausal women ages 55 to 81 years, residing in the general community of Norfolk, United Kingdom, and not currently using hormone replacement therapy were chosen to participate. Physical activity in the past 1 year was assessed using a validated questionnaire, and endogenous sex hormone and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) concentrations were determined.RESULTS: Usual physical activity levels were inversely associated with circulating concentrations of testosterone and estradiol, testosterone/SHBG ratio, and positively associated with SHBG. These associations were only slightly attenuated after adjusting for potential covariates including body mass index, smoking status, alcohol intake, and reproductive variables. Testosterone concentrations and testosterone/SHBG ratios were 19% [95% confidence interval (95% CI), 9-27%, P < 0.001] and 24.0% (95% CI, 13-34% P < 0.001) lower, respectively, whereas estradiol concentrations were 6% (95% CI, 0-12%; P < 0.05) lower in the highest compared with lowest activity levels, respectively. A decreasing trend for the estradiol/SHBG ratio and 17alpha-hydroxyprogesterone concentrations was also observed. Androstenedione levels did not differ significantly according to physical activity.CONCLUSIONS: Higher usual physical activity levels among postmenopausal women seem to be related to lower endogenous testosterone and estradiol concentrations. This may be one mechanism that could partly explain the reported inverse relationship between physical activity and breast cancer risk in some studies.

Alternate JournalCancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev.
Citation Key10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-06-0745
PubMed ID17507613
Grant ListG0401527 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
MC_U106179473 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom