(HealthDay News) — Physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of esophageal cancer (EC), according to a review and meta-analysis presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology, held from Oct. 11 to 16 in San Diego.
Siddharth Singh, M.B.B.S., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues reviewed the literature and conducted a meta-analysis of eight observational studies that examined the correlation between recreational and/or occupational physical activity and the risk of EC.
The researchers found that, compared with the least physically active people, the most physically active people had a significantly lower risk of EC (five studies: odds ratio, 0.81), with low heterogeneity among the studies (I² = 33 percent). Physical activity correlated with lower risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma (four studies: odds ratio [OR], 0.68; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.55 to 0.85), while the risk of esophageal squamous cell cancer was not significantly reduced (two studies: OR, 0.46; 95 percent CI, 0.08 to 2.73). Recreational, but not occupational, physical activity correlated with a reduction in the risk of EC (three studies: OR, 0.83; 95 percent CI, 0.69 to 1.00).
“By decreasing visceral fat, lowering the level of carcinogenic adipokines, improving insulin sensitivity, and decreasing chronic inflammation, physical activity can potentially decrease risk of esophageal cancer,” Singh said in a statement.