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woman serious in chairLots of time spent sitting may increase a woman’s odds for cancer, but it does not seem to have a similar effect on men, a new study suggests.

“Longer leisure time spent sitting was associated with a higher risk of total cancer risk in women, and specifically with multiple myeloma, breast and ovarian cancers. But sitting time was not associated with cancer risk in men,” concluded a team led by Dr. Alpa Patel, who directs the Cancer Prevention Study-3 at the American Cancer Society.

One doctor said the message from the study is clear.

“Encouraging individuals across all categories of weight to reduce sitting time would have an impact on their physical activity, with beneficial effects on cancer and other chronic diseases,” said Dr. Paolo Bofetta, a professor of preventative medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York City.

Reported recently in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, the study tracked outcomes for more than 146,000 men and women who were cancer-free at the start of the study and then followed from 1992 to 2009. During that time, nearly 31,000 of the participants developed cancer.

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