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Cycling can reduce prostate cancer risk by 35%, new research shows

A recent study suggests that engaging in more cycling, jogging, and swimming could significantly lower the risk of developing prostate cancer in men. The research reveals that men who increased their fitness levels by 3% within a year had a 35% lower likelihood of developing prostate cancer compared to those whose fitness levels declined.

Conducted by the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences and based on data from 57,652 men, the study underscores the importance of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in reducing the risk of prostate cancer. Dr. Kate Bolam, one of the study’s co-authors, encourages men to incorporate enjoyable activities that elevate heart rate into their weekly routines.

The research involved analyzing various factors, including multiple cardiorespiratory fitness tests, physical activity levels, height, body mass index (BMI), lifestyle, and perceived health. Over an average follow-up period of seven years, 592 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, resulting in 46 deaths from the disease.

The key finding of the study is that a 3% annual increase in fitness was associated with a 35% lower likelihood of developing prostate cancer. However, the increased fitness did not correlate with a lower likelihood of death from the disease for those who developed it.

This groundbreaking research serves as the first conclusive evidence linking exercise to a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Previous reports had suggested a slightly increased risk of prostate cancer in men with higher cardiovascular fitness, potentially due to more frequent cancer screening among cyclists, leading to an artificially elevated diagnosis rate.

Simon Grieveson from Prostate Cancer UK acknowledged the study’s contribution to existing research linking exercise to a lower likelihood of prostate cancer, emphasizing the positive impact of regular physical activity and a balanced diet on overall health and well-being.

Matt Lambert from World Cancer Research Fund highlighted the study’s insight into how factors like fitness may contribute to reducing the risk of prostate cancer in men. The findings underscore the broader health benefits associated with maintaining higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness.

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