FRIDAY, Oct. 13, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Residence in neighborhoods with a higher neighborhood walkability level is associated with a reduced risk for overall and site-specific obesity-related cancers, according to a study published in the October issue of Environmental Health Perspectives.
Sandra India-Aldana, Ph.D., from the NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues examined the association between long-term average neighborhood walkability and obesity-related cancer risk in women in a prospective cohort study involving 14,274 women recruited between 1985 and 1991 and followed for nearly three decades. An average annual measure of neighborhood walkability across years of follow-up was calculated using data on population density and accessibility to destinations associated with geocoded residential addresses.
The researchers observed an association between residing in neighborhoods with a higher walkability level and a reduced risk for overall and site-specific obesity-related cancers. Adjusting for potential confounders at both the individual and neighborhood level, the hazard ratios associated with a one-standard deviation increase in average annual neighborhood walkability were 0.88, 0.89, 0.82, 0.87, and 0.68 for overall obesity-related cancer, postmenopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, and multiple myeloma, respectively. Compared with women living in areas with lower poverty levels, women living in neighborhoods with higher levels of poverty exhibited a stronger association between neighborhood walkability and risk for overall obesity-related cancer.
“This study supports the hypothesis that residing in a more walkable neighborhood protects against the risk of overall obesity-related cancers in women,” the authors write.
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