Exercise reduces the risk of prostate cancer in white men.
Working out can also lower the chance of developing more severe forms of the cancer in Caucasian males who have the disease.
However, African-American men do not experience the same advantages from exercising.
The finding came from a new study conducted by the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center and was published in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.
Exercise has been linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer in prior research, and according to reports, African-American men are at increased risk of developing the cancer and of dying from it, compared to white males.
A study from 2011 indicated that genetic differences in prostate cells seem to be a main reason for the disparities between African-American men and white men.
However, scientists did not know whether working out as a function is responsible for these discrepancies.
Therefore, the researchers, led by Lionel L. Bañez, MD, gave a questionnaire to 307 males (164 white; 143 black) who received a prostate biopsy in order to evaluate the amount of time they spent working out each week.
The men were asked whether they were:
- mildly active
- moderately active
- highly active
The experts discovered that caucasian men who were moderately or highly active were 53% less likely to have prostate cancer compared to males who were sedentary or mildly active.
Exercise amount was not linked to prostate cancer among black men, according to the results.
The scientists also wanted to determine whether working out had an impact on the grade of tumors that were identified in males who had prostate cancer.
Men affected by prostate cancer who exercised had a 13% lower chance of having high grade disease – when cancer cells look especially abnormal and can rapidly grow and spread.
The association was significant in Caucasians but not in African Americans, the authors said.
Dr. Bañez concluded:
“These findings that African-American men may not benefit from exercise the way Caucasian men do could be a contributor to why African-American race is a risk factor for prostate cancer and aggressive prostate cancer.
Further studies are needed to investigate the mechanism behind this racial disparity in deriving cancer-related benefits from exercise which disfavors African-American men.”
Written by Sarah Glynn