Keeping fit in midlife is linked to a lower risk of cancer in men

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Men with a high fitness level in midlife appear to be at lower risk for lung and colorectal cancer but not prostate cancer, according to a study.

That fitness also may put them at lower risk of death if they are diagnosed with cancer when they’re older, according to a study in the journal JAMA Oncology.

While the association between cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been well-established, the value of fitness as a predictor of cancer hasn’t been studied well.

Susan G. Lakoski, of the University of Vermont, Burlington, and coauthors looked at the association between midlife cardiorespiratory fitness and the incident cancer and survival following a cancer diagnosis at the age of 65 or older.

The study included 13,949 men. During an average 6.5 years of surveillance, 1,310 of them were diagnosed with prostate cancer, 200 with lung cancer and 181 men with colorectal cancer.

The authors found that high cardiorespiratory fitness in midlife was associated with a 55% lower risk of lung cancer and a 44% lower risk of colorectal cancer.

The study also found that high cardiorespiratory fitness in midlife was associated with a 32% lower risk for cancer death among men who developed lung, colorectal or prostate cancer.

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