With a few hours of exercise each week, Black women can reduce their risk of breast cancer to the same extent that White women can, new research suggests.

“The results indicate that the more exercise you do over your lifetime, the greater your reduction in breast cancer risk will be,” lead author Dr. Leslie Bernstein, from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, told Reuters Health. “In general, I think you need to do 3 to 4 hours of exercise per week to see a strong protective effect.”

Until now,“there really had not been a study of the breast cancer-preventing effects of exercise in African American women,” Bernstein said. “The results indicate that they glean as much benefit from physical activity as White women do.”

The findings, which appear in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, are based on a comparison of lifetime recreational exercise between 4,538 patients with breast cancer and 4,649 women without breast cancer. Roughly, a third of subjects in each group were Black and the remainder was White.

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