Physical Inactivity-Related Cancers

Source of standard: CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries

Source item name: Derived from NAACCR’s Primary Site, Histologic Type ICD-O-3, and Sex

Source item numbers: Derived from NAACCR’s 400external icon (Primary Site), 522external icon (Histologic Type ICD-O-3), and 220external icon (Sex)

This is a predefined variable created using ICD-O-3 site, histology, and sex to define physical inactivity-related cancers.1 2

Considerations for Use

  • Cancer registries do not routinely collect data on physical inactivity, so the number of cancers associated with this risk factor cannot be determined definitively.2 3 4
  • However, other sources of information can be used to obtain the proportion of cancers probably caused by the risk factor, known as the attributable fraction.5 The number of attributable cancers can be estimated by multiplying the attributable fraction by the number of associated cancers.
  • For more information, please see the referenced publications and Predefined Variables for Risk Factor-Associated Cancers documentation.
  • Please note that in official federal cancer statistics publications, CDC reports malignant (invasive) cancers except for bladder cancers (includes in situ and invasive cancers).


1Eheman C, Henley SJ, Ballard-Barbash R, Jacobs EJ, Schymura MJ, Noone AM, Pan L, Anderson RN, Fulton JE, Kohler BA, Jemal A, Ward E, Plescia M, Ries LA, Edwards BK. Annual report to the nation on the status of cancer, 1975–2008, featuring cancers associated with excess weight and lack of sufficient physical activity.external icon Cancer 2012;118:2338–2366.

2World Cancer Research Fund / American Institute for Cancer Research. Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective. Washington, DC: AICR, 2007.

3Henley SJ, Singh SD, King J, Wilson RJ, O’Neil ME, Ryerson AB. Invasive cancer incidence and survival—United States, 2013. MMWR 2017;66:69–75.

4Cogliano VJ1, Baan R, Straif K, Grosse Y, Lauby-Secretan B, El Ghissassi F, Bouvard V, Benbrahim-Tallaa L, Guha N, Freeman C, Galichet L, Wild CP. Preventable exposures associated with human cancers.external icon Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2011;103(24):1827–1839.

5Levine B. What does the population attributable fraction mean? Preventing Chronic Disease 2007;4(1):A14.