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Fitness May Reduce Lung, Colon Cancer Risk

Men who are fit in middle age may have lower risks of some cancers in later years, a new study finds. The study included nearly 14,000 men who were part of a long-term health study. Their average age when the study began was 49. Nearly all were white. Men were given treadmill tests to assess their fitness. After the men turned 65, researchers looked at Medicare records to see who was diagnosed with cancer. On average, they looked at 6½ years of records for each man. Men who had the top fitness scores in middle age were 55% less likely to develop lung cancer than those who were least fit. They were 44% less likely to develop colorectal cancer. But they were 22% more likely than less fit men to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. The men who were most fit also had a 32% lower rate of death from lung, colorectal or prostate cancer.

Brain Stents May Increase Stroke Risk

Propping open a narrowed artery in the brain actually may lead to more strokes than giving medicines alone, a study has found. The study included 112 people. All of them had a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA or mini-stroke) within the last 30 days. A mini-stroke causes stroke symptoms that last less than 24 hours. People in the study were randomly divided into 2 groups. Everyone received standard "blood thinner" medicines to prevent clots. One group also received angioplasty. This procedure used a tiny balloon to open a narrowed artery in the brain. Then the artery was propped open with a wire-mesh tube called a stent. In the next month, 24% of those who got stents had a stroke or TIA, compared with 10% of those who got medicines only. Nearly 9% of those who got stents had bleeding in the brain. About 5% died. Nobody in the medicine-only group had bleeding or died.