The effect of a randomized controlled physical activity trial on health related quality of life in metabolically unhealthy African-American women: FIERCE STUDY

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Purpose: African-American women (AAW) are more likely to be metabolically unhealthy than White women (WW). Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is associated with increased breast cancer risk and mortality from breast cancer is greater in AAW compared to WW. Data show MetS affects health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Exercise studies report improvements in MetS, however, no study to date has examined HRQoL in metabolically unhealthy AAW enrolled in an exercise trial. Methods: This report examined the effect of a 6-month, 3-arm (supervised exercise, home-based exercise, control) randomized exercise controlled trial on HRQoL among 213 obese, metabolically unhealthy, postmenopausal AAW at high risk for breast cancer. Results: Certain baseline participant characteristics were related to baseline HRQoL dimensions. The “exercise group” (supervised group combined with the home-based group) showed significantly greater improvement in health change scores (M = 13.6, SD = 3.1) compared to the control group (M = 0.7, SD = 4.4) (p = 0.02) over the 6-month study period. There were no significant differences in HRQoL change scores between the 3 study groups, however, although non-significant, data indicated most HRQoL change scores were more favorable in the supervised group. Conclusion: While significant improvement occurred in health change scores in the combined supervised and home-based group compared to the control group, we did not observe any significant differences on HRQoL change scores between all three study groups. However, while non-significant, there was a trend for more favorable HRQoL change scores in the supervised group versus the home-based and control groups. Additional research is needed to further explore this topic.

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