(HealthDay News) — Higher cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is associated with a lower risk for incident lung and colorectal cancer and with a lower risk for all-cause mortality among those diagnosed with lung and colorectal cancer, according to a study published online May 6 in Cancer.
Catherine Handy Marshall, M.D., M.P.H., from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues examined the correlation between CRF and lung and colorectal cancer outcomes in 49,143 consecutive patients, aged 40 to 70 years, who did not have cancer and underwent clinician-referred exercise stress testing from 1991 to 2009. CRF was measured in metabolic equivalents of task (METs) and classified as <6 (reference), 6 to 9, 10 to 11, and ≥12.
The researchers found that individuals in the highest fitness category (METs ≥12) had a reduced risk for lung cancer and incident colorectal cancer in models adjusted for age, race, sex, body mass index, smoking history, and diabetes (hazard ratios, 0.23 and 0.39 [with additional adjustment for aspirin and statin use], respectively). For those diagnosed with lung and colorectal cancer, the risk for subsequent death was reduced for those with high fitness (hazard ratios, 0.56 and 0.11, respectively).
“Patients who undergo stress testing also should be counseled regarding the importance of the results to their cancer risk and mortality, not just their cardiovascular risk,” the authors write.
Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.