Fitness and prostate cancer screening, incidence, and mortality: Results from the Henry Ford Exercise Testing (FIT) Project

Cara Reiter-Brennan, Omar Dzaye, Mouaz H. Al-Mallah, Zeina Dardari, Clinton A. Brawner, Lois E. Lamerato, Steven J. Keteyian, Jonathan K. Ehrman, Michael J. Blaha, Kala Visvanathan, Catherine H. Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The relation between cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and prostate cancer is not well established. The objective of this study was to determine whether CRF is associated with prostate cancer screening, incidence, or mortality. Methods: The Henry Ford Exercise Testing Project is a retrospective cohort study of men aged 40 to 70 years without cancer who underwent physician-referred exercise stress testing from 1995 to 2009. CRF was quantified in metabolic equivalents of task (METs) (<6 [reference], 6-9, 10-11, and ≥12 METs), estimated from the peak workload achieved during a symptom-limited, maximal exercise stress test. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, incident prostate cancer, and all-cause mortality were analyzed with multivariable adjusted Poisson regression and Cox proportional hazard models. Results: In total, 22,827 men were included, of whom 739 developed prostate cancer, with a median follow-up of 7.5 years. Men who had high fitness (≥12 METs) had an 28% higher risk of PSA screening (95% CI, 1.2-1.3) compared with those who had low fitness (<6 METs. After adjusting for PSA screening, fitness was associated with higher prostate cancer incidence (men aged <55 years, P =.02; men aged >55 years, P ≤.01), but not with advanced prostate cancer. Among the men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer, high fitness was associated with a 60% lower risk of all-cause mortality (95% CI, 0.2-0.9). Conclusions: Although men with high fitness are more likely to undergo PSA screening, this does not fully account for the increased incidence of prostate cancer seen among these individuals. However, men with high fitness have a lower risk of death after a prostate cancer diagnosis, suggesting that the cancers identified may be low-risk with little impact on long-term outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1864-1870
Number of pages7
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021


  • cancer
  • cardiorespiratory fitness
  • prostate cancer
  • prostate-specific antigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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