Does Fitness Level Influence Risk of Cancer and Death in Men?

Does Fitness Level Influence Risk of Cancer and Death in Men

A new study published in the online JAMA Oncology concluded that men with a high fitness level in midlife seem to be at lower risk for lung and colorectal cancer, but not prostate cancer. In addition, a higher fitness level may also predict aa lower risk of death if they are diagnosed with cancer when they are older.

The purpose of the study was to look at the association between midlife cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and the incidence of cancer and survival at age 65 or older. The study included 13,949 men who had a baseline fitness exam where CRF was measured in a treadmill test between 1971 and 2009. Lung cancer, prostate and colorectal cancers were assessed on this group using medicare data between 1999 and 2009. during an average surveillance period of 6.5 years for the men, 1310 developed prostate cancer, 200 lung cancer, and 181 developed colorectal cancer.  Results showed that high CRF in midlife was associated with a 55 percent lower risk of lung cancer, and a 44 percent lower risk of colorectal cancer compared to men with low CRF. However, this association was not seen between high CRF and lower prostate cancer risk. Researchers also found that high CRF in midlife was associated with a 32 percent lower risk of cancer death among men who developed lung, colorectal or prostate cancer at age 65 compared with men who had alow CRF.  In addition, high CRF in midlife was associated with a 68 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease death (CVD) compared with low CRF among men who developed cancer.  Further research is needed to determine specific levels of CRF necessary toi prevent site specific cancer.

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