Thursday, March 26, 2015

Men’s midlife fitness linked to lower risk of cancer and death

CANCER DIGEST – Mar. 26, 2015 – Men who exercise and stay fit, especially in midlife, could be lowering their risk of lung cancer and colorectal cancer, but not prostate cancer, researchers say. Before you say two out of three isn’t bad, there's better news. While fitness didn’t protect against getting prostate cancer, fit men appear to be less likely to die of the disease.

Led by Dr. Susan Lakoski of the University of Vermont, Burlington, the researchers looked at Medicare data from 1999 to 2009 for a link between midlife cardiorespiratory fitness and cancer and survival following a cancer diagnosis at the Medicare age of 65 or older. 
The study included 13,949 men who had a baseline fitness exam where cardiorespiratory fitness was assessed in a treadmill test between 1971 and 2009.

During an average 6.5 years of following the men 1,310 of them were diagnosed with prostate cancer, 200 with lung cancer and 181 men with colorectal cancer. The authors found that a high fitness level 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 fitness levels. However this same association was not seen between midlife fitness and prostate cancer. The reason for that finding was unknown. The study appears today in the journal, JAMA Oncology.

The study also found that high fitness in midlife was associated with a 32 percent lower risk for cancer death among men who developed lung, colorectal or prostate cancer at Medicare age compared with men with low fitness. 

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