Relationship between muscle-strengthening activity and cause-specific mortality in a large US cohort

Alpa V. Patel, James M. Hodge, Erika Rees-Punia, Lauren R. Teras, Peter T. Campbell, Susan M. Gapstur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Introduction Muscle-strengthening activity (MSA) has beneficial effects on hypertension, glucose homeostasis, and other health conditions; however, its association with mortality is not as well understood. Methods We analyzed data from the Cancer Prevention Study-II Nutrition Cohort (data collection 1982-2014), a prospective US cohort that consisted of 72,462 men and women who were free of major chronic diseases; 18,034 of the cohort died during 13 years of follow-up (2001-2014). We used Cox proportional hazards modeling, controlling for various potential confounding factors, to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for MSA (none, >0 to <1 h/wk, 1 to <2 h/wk, and ≥2 h/wk) in relation to mortality risk, independent of and in combination with aerobic physical activity. Results The association between MSA and mortality appeared to be nonlinear (quadratic trend P value, <.001). After multivariable adjustment and comparison with no MSA, engaging in less than 2 hours per week of MSA was associated with lowered all-cause mortality (>0 to <1 h/wk: HR = 0.88, 95% CI, 0.82-0.94; 1 to <2 h/wk: HR = 0.90, 95% CI, 0.84-0.97), but engaging in 2 or more hours per week was not associated with reduced risk (HR = 1.01; 95% CI, 0.92-1.09). Associations were similar but not significant for cancer mortality. Engaging in >0 to <1 hr/wk of MSA was associated with a 19% lower risk (HR = 0.81; 95% CI, 0.71-0.92) of cardiovascular disease mortality, but more time spent in MSA was not associated with reduced risk (quadratic trend P value =.005). Associations did not vary by amount of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic physical activity. Conclusion Engaging in ≥2 hours per week of MSA was associated with lower all-cause mortality, independent of aerobic activity. Reasons for the lack of association with higher amounts of MSA are unclear. Our findings support recommending muscle-strengthening activities for overall health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number408
JournalPreventing Chronic Disease
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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