A Randomized Controlled Trial of Exercise to Prevent Bone Loss in Premenopausal Women with Breast Cancer

Laila S. Tabatabai, Joan Bloom, Susan Stewart, Deborah E. Sellmeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background/Introduction/Objective: Premenopausal women treated for breast cancer are at high risk for bone loss. This trial examined the effects of a 1-year combined aerobic and resistance exercise program on bone mineral density (BMD) in women treated for premenopausal breast cancer. Materials and Methods: Premenopausal women (n = 206) age ≤ 55 years at cancer diagnosis who were within two years of receiving adjuvant chemotherapy were randomized to a 12-month exercise program or a control group. BMD was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry at baseline and after 1 year; blood was drawn for skeletal markers. Change from baseline to end of study was compared within and between treatment groups using paired and unpaired t-tests. Results: Lumbar spine BMD declined in both treatment groups with no significant difference between treatment groups (-0.008 ± 0.003 g/cm 2 exercise vs. -0.014 ± 0.003 g/cm 2 control, p = 0.24). However, among the women who did not lose lean mass during the study (n = 100, 54 control, 46 exercise), the exercise intervention prevented lumbar spine bone loss (0.001 ± 0.005 g/cm 2 treatment group vs. -0.014 ± 0.005 g/cm 2 control group, p = 0.03). Bone turnover markers decreased significantly in both groups with no differences between groups. Conclusions: Among women who maintained lean mass, our exercise intervention prevented bone loss; however, our intervention did not prevent bone loss among women who lost muscle mass. Additional investigation into exercise regimens that can prevent both bone and muscle loss may help prevent long-term consequences of premenopausal breast cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Bone density
  • Bone loss
  • Breast cancer
  • Exercise
  • Osteoporosis
  • Premenopausal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'A Randomized Controlled Trial of Exercise to Prevent Bone Loss in Premenopausal Women with Breast Cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this