Breast cancer survivors have double the risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease than age-matched women without a cancer history.
Reynolds risk score (RRS) is a validated algorithm for the assessment of cardiovascular disease risk. This secondary analysis sought to examine the effects of a 16-week aerobic and resistance exercise intervention on RRS in overweight or obese breast cancer survivors.
Methods and results
One hundred overweight or obese (BMI > 25 kg/m2) breast cancer survivors were randomized to exercise or usual care. The exercise group underwent aerobic and resistance exercise sessions for 16 weeks. RRS was calculated using a validated equation. Group differences in mean change for RRS were evaluated using repeated-measures analyses of variance. Post-intervention, RRS was significantly reduced (7.9 ± 0.9% to 1.0 ± 0.5%; p < 0.001) in the exercise group compared to a significant increase (9.0 ± 0.8% to 11.6 ± 1.2%; p = 0.002%) in the usual care group (p < 0.01). RRS was significantly reduced in exercise vs usual care (between group difference, − 10.6; 95% CI, − 16.3 to − 7.4; p < 0.001).
A 16-week aerobic and resistance exercise intervention is an effective approach to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in breast cancer survivors. Exercise during cancer survivorship should be considered to reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease risk in overweight women breast cancer survivors.