October 19, 2019 - 12:19 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Men who are current or former smokers may be less likely to develop or die from lung cancer when they’re more physically fit, a recent study suggests, according to Reuters.
Researchers gave treadmill tests to 2,979 men - 1,602 who were former smokers and 1,377 who were current smokers - to assess their “cardiorespiratory” fitness, or how easily the circulatory and respiratory systems can supply oxygen to muscles during physical exertion. They assessed exercise capacity using a standard measurement known as metabolic equivalents (METs) which reflects how much oxygen is consumed during physical activity.
Researchers followed the men for an average of 11.6 years; during this period, 99 participants were diagnosed with lung cancer and 79 of these people died from cancer.
Among former smokers, each 1-MET increase during treadmill tests was associated with a 13% lower risk of developing lung cancer. Moderate to high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness were associated with a 51% to 77% lower risk of developing lung malignancies, the study found.
And among current smokers who were later diagnosed with lung cancer, each 1-met increase during treadmill tests was associated with an 18% lower risk of dying from cancer. Moderate to high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness were linked to an 84% to 85% lower risk of dying from cancer.
“Both former and current smokers can significantly reduce their risk of developing and dying from lung cancer by achieving higher cardiorespiratory fitness,” said lead study author Baruch Vainshelboim of the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System and Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.