Physical activity and prostate cancer mortality in Puerto Rican males

The Puerto Rico Heart Health Program was a study of nearly 10,000 men in Puerto Rico aged between 35 and 79 years when the study started in 1965. The program was supervised by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (a part of the US National Institutes of Health). The men were followed until they died or until 1980, when  morbidity and mortality follow-up concluded. The study was formally ended in 2002.

Multiple examinations collected information from these men on lifestyle, diet, body composition, exercise, urban-rural residence, and smoking habits. Their physical activity status was also measured to assess their occupational, leisure-time, and other physical activities measured as usual activity over the course of a 24-hour day. Crespo et al. have reported on whether there was any association between physical activity and risk of death from prostate cancer.

Physical activity status was grouped (“stratified”) into four equal “quartiles” (Q1 through Q4). Compared with the lowest level of physical activity (Q1), the overall risk (OR) of prostate cancer mortality was 0.99 for Q2 (about the same), 1.34 for Q3 (34 percent higher), and 1.19 for Q4 (19 percent higher). Further analyses by age group, weight status, or vigorous physical activity also showed no significant association between physical activity and prostate cancer mortality. Crespo et al.  concluded that physical activity did not predict prostate cancer mortality in this group of Puerto Rican men. Whether a similar study on a similar group of men starting today, more than 40 years later, would reach the same conclusion is not, of course, known.

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