Fitness tied to lower risks for lung and colorectal cancer

  • Cancer

  • von Yael Waknine
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • High cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) level is linked to lower risk for lung cancer and colorectal cancer (CRC), and improved survival after diagnosis of either disease.

Why this matters

  • Prior smaller studies lacked diversity with respect to sex and race.

Study design

  • Henry Ford Exercise Testing (FIT) project involving 49,143 adults aged 40-70 (mean, 54.0) years who underwent exercise stress testing during 1991-2009 (46.1% female, 29.3% black, 0.7% Hispanic).
  • CRF metabolic equivalents of task (METs) units categorized as
  • Funding: Conquer Cancer Foundation.    

Key results

  • Average peak METs: 9.7 for men, 8.1 for women.
  • 388 cases of lung cancer and 220 cases of CRC were diagnosed over a median 7.7-year follow-up.
  • Highest vs lowest MET category was linked to:
    • 77% decreased risk for lung cancer (HR, 0.23; 95% CI, 0.14-0.36).
    • 61% decreased risk for CRC (HR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.23-0.66).
  • Risk for all-cause mortality in highest vs lowest MET category was:
    • 44% lower after lung cancer diagnosis (HR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.32-1.00).  
    • 89% lower after CRC diagnosis (HR, 0.11; 95% CI, 0.03-0.37).
  • Increasing fitness inversely related to risks for lung cancer and CRC, subsequent mortality (all P<.01>
  • Findings supported in sensitivity analysis addressing potential reverse causation.

Limitations

  • Single fitness assessment.
  • Potential selection bias.