Fitness earlier in life reduces cancer risk when older, study shows

Longevity efforts need to start early in life for best results:

Being fit earlier in life is associated with a reduced risk, in some cases of up to 42%, of developing nine different types of cancer in later life, according to a large long-term study.

While exercise has been previously linked with a lower risk of certain cancers, long-term and large cohort studies on multiple cancer sites are sparse.

The new study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, drew from data from more than 1 million male Swedish conscripts between 16 and 25, who were followed for an average of 33 years from 1968 to 2005. The results suggested that good cardiorespiratory fitness – an individual’s ability to engage in sustained aerobic exercises such as running, cycling, and swimming – was associated with a 42% reduced risk of lung cancer, a 40% reduced risk of liver cancer and a 39% reduced risk of oesophageal cancer.


Associations between cardiorespiratory fitness in youth and the incidence of site-specific cancer in men: a cohort study with register linkage

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