A recent study titled “Pre- and Postdiagnosis Physical Activity,Television Viewing, and Mortality Among Patients With Colorectal Cancer in the National Institutes of Health–AARP Diet and Health Study”, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, has found that watching many hours of television can hamper survival in colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors.
The research, led by Hannah Arem, Ph.D., of the U.S. National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Md., looked at previous data from an earlier study which included 566,398 men and women between the ages of 50 and 71 who had preformed a health and lifestyle questionnaire between 1995 and 1996.
All patients answered to which degree they commonly engaged in moderate to vigorous leisure-time activity every week, over the last 10 years.
In the new study, researchers filtered almost 3,800 participants who later, after 5 years of the initial survey, had developed colorectal cancer.
Researchers assessed the link between prediagnosis and postdiagnosis leisure time physical activity (LTPA) and TV watching and overall and disease-specific mortality among patients with CRC.
CRC survivors who watched more than 7 hours per week of prediagnosis LTPA had a 20% lower mortality when compared to those who reported no LTPA. Furthermore, postdiagnosis LTPA of more than 7 hours per week was associated with a 31% decrease in mortality risk when compared with no LTPA.
Additionally, the study found that patients who had a habit of watching no more than 2 hours of TV every week before CRC diagnosis, had a 22% lower risk of dying than those who watched 5 or more hours per week.
Overall, LTPA was associated with a decreased mortality risk, while TV watching seemed to have an opposite impact.
For LTPA and TV watching, postdiagnosis measures proved to be independent factors associated with mortality.
“Clinicians should promote both minimizing TV time and increasing physical activity for longevity among survivors of CRC, regardless of previous behaviors”, the authors concluded in their study.