BackgroundIt is estimated that around 30% of breast cancers in post-menopausal women are related to lifestyle. The breast cancer-pooling project demonstrated that sustained weight loss of 2 to 4.5?kg is associated with an 18% lower risk of breast cancer, highlighting the importance of small changes in body weight. Our study aimed to assess the effectiveness a volunteer-delivered, community based, weight management programme (ActWELL) for women with a BMI >?25?kg/m2 attending NHS Scotland Breast Screening clinics.
MethodsA multicentre, 1:1 parallel group, randomised controlled trial was undertaken in 560 women aged 50 to 70?years with BMI >?25?kg/m2. On completion of baseline measures, all participants received a breast cancer prevention leaflet. Intervention group participants received the ActWELL intervention which focussed on personalised diet advice and pedometer walking plans. The programme was delivered in leisure centres by (the charity) Breast Cancer Now volunteer coaches. Primary outcomes were changes between groups at 12?months in body weight (kg) and physical activity (accelerometer measured step count).
ResultsTwo hundred seventy-nine women were allocated to the intervention group and 281 to the comparison group. Twelve-month data were available from 240 (81%) intervention and 227 (85%) comparison group participants. Coaches delivered 523 coaching sessions and 1915 support calls to 279 intervention participants. Mean weight change was -?2.5?kg (95% CI -?3.1 to -?1.9) in the intervention group and?-?1.2?kg (-?1.8 to 0.6) in the comparison group. The adjusted mean difference was -?1.3?kg (95% CI -?2.2 to -?0.4, P?=?0.003). The odds ratio for losing 5% weight was 2.20 (95% CI 1.4 to 3.4, p?=?0.0005) in favour of the intervention. The adjusted mean difference in step counts between groups was 483 steps/day (95% CI -?635 to 1602) (NS).
ConclusionsA community weight management intervention initiated at breast screening clinics and delivered by volunteer coaches doubled the likelihood of clinically significant weight loss at 12?months (compared with usual care) offering significant potential to decrease breast cancer risk.
Trial registrationDatabase of registration: ISCRTN. Registration number: 11057518 . Date trial registered:21.07.2017. Date of enrolment of first participant: 01.09.2017.
SUBMITTER: Anderson AS