Purpose: To examine the associations between physical activity, metabolic risk factors, and comorbidities in Korean cancer survivors. Methods: We used multiple cross-sectional data sets from the 2007–2013 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (KNHANES) that included 1225 cancer survivors. Physical activity and comorbidities were self-reported. Metabolic risk factors were measured via blood analyses and included fasting glucose, insulin, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure. Results: The sample was 38.4% male with a mean age of 59.9 ± 12.4 years. The most common cancers were stomach (22.5%), cervical (14.6%), breast (14.4%), and colorectal (11.8%). Cancer survivors meeting aerobic physical activity guidelines, compared to those completely inactive, had significantly lower fasting glucose (p =.001), HbA1c (p =.006), and systolic blood pressure (p =.001), and significantly lower risks of hypertension (odds ratio [OR] = 0.55, 95% confidential interval [CI] = 0.32 to 0.93), diabetes (OR = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.43 to 0.95), and arthritis (OR = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.41 to 0.99). Moreover, cancer survivors meeting strength exercise guidelines, compared to those not meeting guidelines, had significantly lower levels of fasting glucose (p =.001), HbA1c (p <.001), and total cholesterol (p =.031), and significantly lower risks of arthritis (OR = 0.42, 95% CI = 0.25 to 0.85) and back pain (OR = 0.50, 95% CI = 0.30 to 0.83). Conclusion: Aerobic physical activity and strength exercise were significantly associated with lower risks of metabolic disturbances and comorbidities in Korean cancer survivors. Implications for Cancer Survivors: Cancer survivors should engage in at least 150 min/week of aerobic exercise and at least 2 days/week of strength exercise to lower their risk of metabolic disturbances and comorbidities.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors fully acknowledge that the data in this study is acquired from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) conducted by the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) between 2007 and 2013. This survey was approved by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Institutional Review Board, and written informed consent was obtained from all participants. The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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