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Improving physical fitness reduces the chance of developing prostate cancer by 35%

Improving physical fitness can reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer by up to 35%, according to a study published in British Journal of Sports Medicine. The discovery reinforces that physical activity is important in preventing this cancer, which is responsible for 375,000 deaths per year worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The objective of study was to understand whether improving cardiorespiratory fitness could influence both the risk of developing and dying from prostate cancer.

To do this, the researchers collected information on lifestyle, health perception, body mass and height from a UK database. In addition, they consulted the results of at least two cardiorespiratory fitness tests, carried out on an exercise bike.

In total, data from 181,673 men were evaluated, of which 57,652 took the aptitude exams. Over a period of nearly 7 years, 592 participants were diagnosed with prostate cancer and 46 died from the disease.

What do the study results show?

According to researchers, the Annual percentage increase in physical fitness was associated with a 2% lower risk of prostate cancer , but not death. Factors that could influence the development of the disease were also taken into account, such as age, weight (BMI) and smoking.

To evaluate the results, the research also divided the participants into three groups: those whose physical fitness increased during the study period; those who maintained it stable, and those who had a reduction in physical capacity. The measure used for fitness is the amount (volume) of oxygen that the body uses during high-intensity exercise.

According to the study, participants who increased their physical fitness by 3% or more per year had a 35% lower chance of developing prostate cancer compared to those who had decreased cardiorespiratory capacity.

In the authors' view, “the results highlight the importance of cardiorespiratory fitness for the risk of prostate cancer”. “Improvements [no condicionamento] in adult men should be encouraged and may reduce the risk of prostate cancer,” says a press release.

Source: CNN Brasil

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