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Hye Young Lee
Hye Kyung Song
Yong Hwan Kim


colon polyp, fitness, odds ratio, physical activity


Background and objectives
Colon polyps are precursor lesions for colon cancer and are associated with a range of risk factors, including smoking, alcohol, obesity, a high-calorie diet, inactivity, and low levels of fitness. The purpose of this study was to analyze the prevalence of colon polyps in relation to age, cardiopulmonary fitness and exercise frequency, intensity, and duration (or continuous time).
Materials and methods
This study involved asymptomatic males who underwent a colonoscopy and cardiac exercise stress test. Participants were divided by age (30–49 years [young adults – YA], 50–59 years [middle-aged – MID], and 60+ years [elderly – ELD]). Participants completed an exercise questionnaire that assessed the frequency, intensity, and duration of exercise. Cardiopulmonary fitness was measured with a gas analyzer using a treadmill and the Bruce protocol. Polyps were classified according to their number (≥3) and size (≥0.6 cm), and logistic regression was performed to determine odds ratios (OR). Statistical significance was set at p<0.05.
The incidence of colon polyps was 40.1%, 56.2%, and 68.9% in the YA, MID, and ELD groups, respectively. In the YA group, the OR for the presence of polyps decreased to 0.854 and 0.687 in the G3 and G4 (highest fitness) groups, respectively. Although there was no difference in the presence of polyps in the MID group based on cardiopulmonary fitness, there were differences based on exercise intensity and frequency. The OR for the presence of polyps in subjects from the YA group who exercised frequently was 0.743, while those in the MID group had an OR of 0.787; these ORs represented a 21.3–25.7% lower risk than participants who did not exercise (p<0.05).
Higher cardiopulmonary fitness, along with increased exercise frequency, intensity, and duration, could lower the prevalence of polyps in younger and middle-aged participants, although exercise did not affect the prevalence of polyps in older participants.


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