The Alberta moving beyond breast cancer (AMBER) cohort study: baseline description of the full cohort

Christine M. Friedenreich, Jeff K. Vallance, Margaret L. McNeely, S. Nicole Culos-Reed, Charles E. Matthews, Gordon J. Bell, John R. Mackey, Karen A. Kopciuk, Leanne Dickau, Qinggang Wang, Diane Cook, Stephanie Wharton, Jessica McNeil, Charlotte Ryder-Burbidge, Andria R. Morielli, Kerry S. Courneya

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The Alberta Moving Beyond Breast Cancer (AMBER) Study is an ongoing prospective cohort study investigating how direct measures of physical activity (PA), sedentary behavior (SB), and health-related fitness (HRF) are associated with survival after breast cancer. Methods: Women in Alberta with newly diagnosed stage I (≥ T1c) to IIIc breast cancer were recruited between 2012 and 2019. Baseline assessments were completed within 90 days of surgery. Measurements included accelerometers to measure PA and SB; a graded treadmill test with gas exchange analysis to measure cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2peak); upper and lower body muscular strength and endurance; dual-X-ray absorptiometry to measure body composition; and questionnaires to measure self-reported PA and SB. Results: At baseline, the 1528 participants’ mean age was 56 ± 11 years, 59% were post-menopausal, 62% had overweight/obesity, and 55% were diagnosed with stage II or III disease. Based on device measurements, study participants spent 8.9 ± 1.7 h/day sedentary, 4.4 ± 1.2 h/day in light-intensity activity, 0.9 ± 0.5 h/day in moderate-intensity activity, and 0.2 ± 0.2 h/day in vigorous-intensity activity. For those participants who reached VO2peak, the average aerobic fitness level was 26.6 ± 6 ml/kg/min. Average body fat was 43 ± 7.1%. Conclusion: We have established a unique cohort of breast cancer survivors with a wealth of data on PA, SB, and HRF obtained through both direct and self-reported measurements. Study participants are being followed for at least ten years to assess all outcomes after breast cancer. These data will inform clinical and public health guidelines on PA, SB, and HRF for improving breast cancer outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-453
Number of pages13
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar. 2022


  • Breast cancer
  • Cohort study
  • Fitness
  • Physical activity
  • Sedentary behavior
  • Survival


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