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Cancer Epidemiol. 2011 Dec;35(6):569-73. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2011.01.006. Epub 2011 Feb 10.

A 12-month moderate-intensity exercise intervention does not alter serum prolactin concentrations.

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University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.



Many studies have investigated the immediate impact of physical activity on prolactin concentrations; however, it is currently unclear what impact exercise may have on prolactin concentrations in the long-term, particularly among women. Understanding the role of exercise on prolactin is important because epidemiologic studies have reported increased risks of breast cancer in association with high prolactin concentrations. We investigated whether exercise alters serum prolactin concentrations at two time points within a one-year exercise intervention.


Out of 96 women aged 40-75 years, 47 were randomized to a 12-month regimen of moderate-intensity physical activity and 49 were randomized to the control group. Participants in the exercise group (exercisers) took part in exercise at gym facilities 3 times per week and 3 times per week on their own. Serum prolactin was collected from participants at baseline, 3 and 12 months. Using generalized linear models, we compared the percent change in prolactin concentrations from baseline to the two follow-up time points in the exercisers versus the control group.


While we observed the suggestion of differences in the change in serum prolactin concentrations in some subgroups, overall there was no difference in the change in prolactin concentrations between exercisers and controls at 3 months (p=0.57) or 12 months (p=0.42).


Our study does not support the hypothesis that long-term exercise influences serum prolactin concentrations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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