Kate A BolamEmil Bojsen-MøllerPeter WallinSofia PaulssonMagnus LindwallHelene RundqvistElin Ekblom-Bak

DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2023-107007


Objectives: To examine the associations between changes in cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in adulthood and prostate cancer incidence and mortality.

Methods: In this prospective study, men who completed an occupational health profile assessment including at least two valid submaximal CRF tests, performed on a cycle ergometer, were included in the study. Data on prostate cancer incidence and mortality were derived from national registers. HRs and CIs were calculated using Cox proportional hazard regression with inverse probability treatment weights of time-varying covariates.

Results: During a mean follow-up time of 6.7 years (SD 4.9), 592 (1%) of the 57 652 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 46 (0.08%) died with prostate cancer as the primary cause of death. An increase in absolute CRF (as % of L/min) was associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer incidence (HR 0.98, 95% CI 0.96 to 0.99) but not mortality, in the fully adjusted model. When participants were grouped as having increased (+3%), stable (±3%) or decreased (-3%) CRF, those with increased fitness also had a reduced risk of prostate cancer incidence compared with those with decreased fitness (HR 0.65, 95% CI 0.49 to 0.86), in the fully adjusted model.

Conclusion: In this study of employed Swedish men, change in CRF was inversely associated with risk of prostate cancer incidence, but not mortality. Change in CRF appears to be important for reducing the risk of prostate cancer.