Physical activity is associated with reduced risk of gastric cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Siddharth Singh, Jithinraj Edakkanambeth Varayil, Swapna Devanna, Mohammad Hassan Murad, Prasad G. Iyer

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31 Scopus citations


Physical activity may be associated with reduced risk of gastric cancer. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the magnitude of the association and the quality of supporting evidence. After a comprehensive search of bibliographic databases and conference proceedings through February 2013 for observational studies that examined associations between recreational and/or occupational physical activity and gastric cancer risk, we identified 16 studies (seven cohort, nine case control) reporting 11,111 cases of gastric cancer among 1,606,760 patients. Summary adjusted-OR estimates with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using the random-effects model. Meta-analysis demonstrated that the risk of gastric cancer was 21% lower among the most physically active people as compared with the least physically active people (OR = 0.79; 95% CI, 0.71-0.87) with moderate heterogeneity among studies (I2 = 55%). This protective effect was seen for gastric cancers in the cardia (four studies; OR = 0.80; 95% CI, 0.63-1.00) and distal stomach (five studies;OR=0.63; 95% CI, 0.52-0.76). The effect size was significantly smaller in highquality studies (six studies; OR = 0.86; 95% CI, 0.75-0.99), as compared with low-quality studies (10 studies; OR = 0.74; 95% CI, 0.69-0.81). The results were consistent across sex, study quality, study design, and geographic location. In conclusion, meta-analysis of published observational studies indicates that physical activity is associated with reduced risk of gastric cancer. Lifestyle interventions focusing on increasing physical activity may decrease the global burden of gastric cancer, in addition to a myriad of other health benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-22
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Prevention Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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