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Long hours at desk may put women at cancer risk

If your time involves sitting leisurely for longer durations, then you may be at increased risk of certain types of cancers, claims a new study.

According a new study, being a couch potato was associated with a higher risk of total cancer risk in women, and specifically with multiple myeloma, breast, and ovarian cancers, even after taking into account BMI, physical activity, and other factors.

Investigators led by Alpa Patel, PhD, compared leisure time sitting to cancer risk among more than 146,000 men and women (69,260 men and 77,462 women) who were cancer-free and enrolled in the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort. Between 1992 and 2009, 18,555 men and 12,236 women were diagnosed with cancer.

They found longer leisure-time spent sitting was associated with a 10 percent higher risk of cancer in women after adjustment for physical activity, BMI and other factors. The association was not apparent in men.

In women, sitting time was associated with risk of multiple myeloma, invasive breast cancer, and ovarian cancer. Once again, among men no association between sitting time and site-specific cancers was found.