Exercise During Teen Years Linked to Lower Cancer Risk

Involvement in team sports or a regular fitness routine during the teen years can lead to a reduced risk of developing fatal cancers later in life, according to a new study published in the latest issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a medical journal.

Led by a team from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, researchers analyzed data generated by the Shanghai Women’s Health Study. That study was designed “to investigate adolescent exercise in association with cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and all-cause mortality among middle-aged and older women.”

About 75,000 women – ages 40 to 80 — were interviewed in the study and asked questions about their lifestyle, health and exercise history. Other factors, including economic and family background, were tracked in the study and included in follow-up interviews during an extended study period.

The conclusion: “Adolescent exercise participation, independent of adult exercise, was associated with reduced risk of cancer, CVD, and all-cause mortality,” the researchers reported.

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