Study finds men who improve cardiorespiratory fitness may reduce risk of prostate cancer by 35%

Men who engage in regular physical activity can significantly reduce their risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer. This news comes from a groundbreaking study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, shedding light on the compelling link between enhanced cardiorespiratory fitness and a significant decrease in the risk of prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer, affecting approximately 113 out of every 100,000 men annually in the U.S., has long been a subject of extensive research regarding risk factors and preventative measures. The latest study, conducted by researchers from the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, analyzed data from over 57,000 men in Sweden enrolled in a health database since 1982.

Key Findings:

  • Men improving cardiorespiratory fitness by 3% or more annually over three years experienced a remarkable 35% lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
  • This correlation held true regardless of the initial fitness levels of the participants.
  • Cardiorespiratory fitness was measured by the efficiency of the heart and lungs in delivering oxygen to muscles during exercise.
  • Activities such as jogging, hiking, swimming, or more vigorous intensity exercises were identified as effective in improving cardiorespiratory fitness.

Dr. William Oh, Chief Medical Officer of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, emphasizes the universality of the findings: “No matter what age, no matter where you are in your life or your relative fitness, if you improve your fitness, even by a relatively small amount, you may significantly decrease your risk of developing prostate cancer.”

The research team of this study underscores the importance of targeting vigorous-intensity activities to boost cardiorespiratory fitness. If a man enjoys moderate physical activity, it can effectively increase their heart rate.

Despite previous mixed results on the link between exercise and prostate cancer, the current study’s meticulous approach controlled for various factors.  One interesting highlight of the study found that when considering baseline fitness levels, the research revealed that only those with moderate fitness levels saw a reduction in the risk of prostate cancer.

One explanation for this observation is that extremely physically active individuals may not derive additional benefits beyond a certain threshold. At the same time, those who do not exercise may have underlying health conditions that remain unaffected by relatively small fitness improvements.

While the study did not establish a clear association between changes in cardiorespiratory fitness and the risk of dying from prostate cancer, previous research indicates that improving overall cardiorespiratory fitness lowers the risk of cancer-related mortality.

Like so many studies have shown, it all comes down to adopting healthy lifestyle choices, like regular exercise, that make a substantial difference. The study showed the role of engaging in regular physical activity, to spur on the risk reduction of developing prostate cancer. This emphasizes the significance of taking charge of our lifestyle choices, as it is the only aspect, we control in prostate cancer prevention.


Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy.  Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncolo gy and prostate cancer 911. 


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