In a new study, researchers found that being more active reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
The largest-ever study to use genetics as a measurement for physical activity to look at its effect on prostate cancer.
Over 140,000 men were included in the study, of which, 80,000 had prostate cancer.
The research was conducted by a team at the University of Bristol and elsewhere.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, yet we still don’t know all of its causes.
In the study, the team found that people with the variation in their DNA sequence that makes them more likely to be active had a 51% reduced risk of prostate cancer than people who did not have this particular variation.
Importantly, the findings relate to overall physical activity, not just intense exercise.
The team’s previous evidence has already shown that being active can reduce the risk of bowel, breast and womb cancer, but the evidence of physical activity on prostate cancer was limited.
But this large study, which uses genetics as a proxy measurement for physical activity, shows that being active may, in fact, have a large impact on prostate cancer risk.
To date, there has been little evidence of ways to reduce prostate cancer risk other than maintaining a healthy weight.
This new study looked at the effect of 22 risk factors on prostate cancer, but the results for physical activity were the most striking.
It suggests that there could be a larger effect of physical activity on prostate cancer than previously thought, so it will hopefully encourage men to be more active.
The lead author of the study is Dr. Sarah Lewis, Senior Lecturer in Genetic Epidemiology at Bristol Medical School: Population Health Sciences.
The study is published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.
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