Improved Survival With Higher Pre-diagnosis Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Men Who Developed Digestive System Cancers: A Prospective Pilot Study

Author Type(s)


Document Type


Publication Date

October 2019

Journal Title

Anticancer Research


BACKGROUND/AIM: Digestive system cancers are the leading cause of cancer mortality and have poor survival particularly in men. The study aimed to assess the association between pre-diagnosis cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and cancer mortality in a pilot sample of men who developed digestive system cancers. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Pre-diagnosis CRF (treadmill exercise test) was assessed in 342 men (68.9+/-21.8 years) who developed digestive system cancers during 6.7+/-5 years from baseline evaluation. Cox multivariable hazard models were analyzed for total cancer mortality. RESULTS: During 7.2+/-5 years follow-up from baseline, 120 participants died from cancer. Compared to low CRF, moderate and high CRF levels were associated with 57% [0.43, 95%CI=0.24-0.74] and 73% [0.27, 95%CI=0.12-0.59] reduced risks for cancer mortality, respectively (p trend=0.002). Survival time from baseline was longer among those with moderate [13.5 (range=12.1-14.9) years] and high [16.1 (range=14.0-18.2) years] compared to low CRF [7.9 (range=5.7-10.1) years]. CONCLUSION: Higher pre-diagnosis CRF is independently associated with lower risk of cancer mortality and longer survival in men who later developed digestive system cancers.