Background: : The relation of physical activity across the lifespan to risk of prostate cancer has not been thoroughly investigated, particularly among black men. The authors investigated physical activity, including activity during different age periods and of various intensities, in relation to prostate cancer incidence among white men and black men.
Methods: : In total, 160,006 white men and 3671 black men ages 51 years to 72 years who were enrolled in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study reported their time spent per week engaging in physical activity during ages 15 to 18 years, 19 years to 29 years, 35 years to 39 years, and during the past 10 years. Cox regression models were used to examine physical activity, categorized by intensity (moderate or vigorous, light, and total), in relation to prostate cancer risk.
Results: : During 7 years of follow-up, 9624 white men and 371 black men developed prostate cancer. Among white men, physical activity had no association with prostate cancer regardless of age period or activity intensity. Among black men, engaging in > or =4 hours of moderate/vigorous intensity physical activity versus infrequent activity during ages 19 years to 29 years was related to a 35% lower risk of prostate cancer (relative risk, 0.65; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.43-0.99 [P(trend) = .01]). Frequent moderate/vigorous physical activity at ages 35 years to 39 years also potentially was related to reduced prostate cancer risk (relative risk, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.36-0.96 [P(trend) = .15]).
Conclusions: : Regular physical activity may reduce prostate cancer risk among black men, and activity during young adulthood may yield the greatest benefit. This novel finding needs confirmation in additional studies. Cancer 2009. Published 2009 by the American Cancer Society.