(HealthDay News) — Higher cardiorespiratory fitness protects men against many site-specific cancers, according to a study published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Aron Onerup, MD, PhD, from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, and colleagues examined associations between cardiorespiratory fitness and incidence of site-specific cancer using data from 1.078 million men who underwent military conscription (1968 to 2005) with a mean follow-up of 33 years.
The researchers found that higher cardiorespiratory fitness was linearly associated with a lower risk for developing cancer in the head and neck (hazard ratio [HR], 0.81), esophagus (HR, 0.61), stomach (HR, 0.79), pancreas (HR, 0.88), liver (HR, 0.60), colon (HR, 0.82), kidney (HR, 0.80), and lung (HR, 0.58). Higher cardiorespiratory fitness was associated with higher risk for being diagnosed with prostate cancer (HR, 1.07) and malignant skin cancer (HR, 1.31).
“Our study suggests that cardiorespiratory fitness is linearly associated with a lower hazard of developing most of the site-specific cancers assessed here, some of which have not previously been reported in relation to cardiorespiratory fitness or physical activity,” the authors write. “These results strengthen the incentive for promoting interventions aimed at increasing cardiorespiratory fitness in youth.”