Physical Activity Intensity Linked to Cancer Mortality Risk

-- Eric Metcalf

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

WEDNESDAY, July 29 (HealthDay News) -- Leisure-time physical activity at a moderately intense level or greater appears to offer more benefit in preventing cancer-related death in men than low-intensity physical activity, according to research published online July 28 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Jari A. Laukkanen, M.D., of the University of Kuopio in Finland, and colleagues analyzed data from 2,560 middle-aged men who were free from a history of cancer at baseline. Participants self-reported their leisure-time physical activity over 12 months, and were followed for an average of 16.7 years.

The researchers found that an increase of 1.2 metabolic equivalents of oxygen consumption in mean intensity of leisure-time physical activity was associated with a decrease in cancer mortality (relative risk, 0.85), after adjustment for age, smoking, alcohol consumption, and other factors. The relationship mainly involved gastrointestinal and lung cancers. The authors further note that the intensity of physical activity was related to cancer deaths only in men exercising an average of more than 30 minutes daily.

"In conclusion, this prospective study indicates that the mean intensity of leisure-time physical activity is inversely and independently associated with the risk of premature death from cancer, mainly due to lung and gastrointestinal cancers in men. The intensity of leisure-time physical activity should be at least moderate so that beneficial effect of physical activity for reducing overall cancer mortality can be achieved," Laukkanen and colleagues write.

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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