redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports – Your Universe Online
Regular physical activity could reduce the risk of death in male cancer patients by nearly half, according to research appearing in the latest edition of the Journal of Physical Activity & Health.
As part of the study, researchers from the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School looked at data from 1,021 men with an average age of 71. Each of the men had previously been diagnosed with cancer, and completed questionnaires on their exercise habits in 1988, 1993 and 2008.
According to the Huffington Post, men that burned at least 12,600 calories each week reduced fatality risk by 48 percent over a 15-year period compared to those who burned less than 2,100 calories weekly.
Those who exercised most also had a 49 percent decreased risk of cardiovascular disease-related deaths, and were 38-percent less likely to die from cancer-related causes, Medical Express reported on Friday.
The physical activities reported included walking, stair-climbing and participation in sports and similar recreational activities. The findings were adjusted for age, body mass index (BMI), dietary variables, early parental mortality and smoking habits and involved men who enrolled in the Harvard Alumni Health Study between 1916 and 1950.
“Physical activity should be actively promoted to such individuals to enhance longevity,” study co-author Dr. Kathleen Y. Wolin of the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine said, according to Sarah Griffiths of the Daily Mail.
“The research supports a previous study that found the most physically active cancer survivors are much less likely to die of cancer and heart disease,” Griffiths added. “While there has been plenty of research that shows regular exercise boosts the life expectancy of healthy people, this study is among very few that show exercise also extended the life of cancer survivors.”
The research conducted by Dr. Wolin and her colleagues was a prospective cohort study, and during the 15-year period, 777 of the men died (337 from cancer and 190 from cardiovascular disease). I-Min Lee, Sarah E. Freeman, Jacob Sattelmair, and Howard D. Sesso were also credited as authors of the paper.
The new study, which looked at cancers other than nonmelanoma skin cancer, is the latest in a long line of studies showing that exercise can help prevent cancer or cancer-related deaths.
Earlier this month, medical experts identified the reasons behind the association between walking and prostate cancer outcomes, while in October 2013, regular physical activity was found to significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.