The Association of Perceived Cancer Risk with Aerobic Physical Activity in US Adults



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Limited research has examined the relationship between perceived risk of cancer (breast and colorectal cancer) and meeting the aerobic PA guideline. This study will examine the association between perceived cancer risk and meeting the current aerobic PA guideline. We used 2015 National Health Interview Study data on adult participants aged ≥18 years (N=32,489). Multinomial logistic regression was used to estimate the likelihood of engaging in some activity and meeting the aerobic guideline vs. none. Women who perceive themselves at higher than average, and average risk for breast cancer are significantly less likely to meet the guideline, relative to no activity (OR 0.86, 95% CI 0.76-0.97; OR 0.77, 95% CI 0.65-0.91, respectively). Individuals who perceive themselves at higher than average risk for colorectal cancer are more likely to engage in some activity and meet the guideline (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.01-1.48; OR 1.60, 95% CI 1.37-1.86, respectively). Those who perceive themselves at average risk for colorectal cancer are more likely to meet the guideline (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.07-1.47). Health programs should continue to increase awareness about the benefits of PA in cancer risk reduction.