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Intense Physical Activity Cuts Cancer Death Risk in Men: Study

by VR Sreeraman on July 28, 2009 at 12:42 PM
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 Intense Physical Activity Cuts Cancer Death Risk in Men: Study

Men who regularly do heart-pounding exercise are less likely to develop cancer, according to a study released Tuesday.

The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found that the key factor in the reduced risk of cancer was a higher rate of oxygen consumption.

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A team of researchers from the universities of Kuopio and Oulu in Finland studied the leisure-time physical activity over a 12-month period of 2,560 men between 42 and 61 years old with no history of cancer.

Over an average follow-up period of 16 years, 181 of the subjects died from cancer, mostly of the stomach or intestines, lungs, prostate and brain.
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Using an intensity scale for physical exercise that measured "metabolic units" of oxygen consumption, the scientists found that the men who exercised for at least 30 minutes a day were half as likely to get cancer as those who did not.

The sharpest reductions occurred in gastrointenstinal and lung cancers, and held true even when other factors -- age, alcohol consumption, smoking, weight -- were taken into account.

"The intensity of leisure-time physical activity should be at least moderate so that beneficial effect ... for reducing overall cancer mortality can be achieved," the researchers conclude.

Source: AFP
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