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Teen girls must exercise to reduce risk of cancer

Women who were active as teenagers cut their risk of dying from cancer by 13 percent, a study claims.

The amount women exercised and played sports when they were young was compared to their health when they were 40 to 70 years old. 

Researchers found that those who consistently exercised reduced their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and cancer by 20 percent.

They recommend for further research to develop on the mechanisms of these diseases and how exercise can make an impact in preventing them in order to decrease people’s risk of developing one.

Playing sports and exercising consistently during adolescence can reduce the risk of dying from disease such as cancer and heart problems. Researchers studied more than 74,000 women and how much they exercised when they were teenagers. They found that women reduced their risk by 13 percent of dying from cancer (file photo)

Researchers from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, analyzed the health of 74,941 women aged 40 to 70 in China. 

The women were interviewed about their activeness during high school and in their middle age. 

These results were compared to their current health and other socioeconomic factors. 

The findings, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, found that those who participated in regular exercise were less likely to develop cancer, cardiovascular disease and other chronic illnesses. 

Regular exercise was defined as happening at least once a week for a continuation of three months. 

Researchers also charted how many hours a week each woman exercised when they were teenagers and for how long that behavior continued into their life.

Participants were interviewed every two to three years to see if their exercise habits and health changed.  

Women who participated in team sports and exercised regularly during their adolescent years reduced their risk of death from all diseases by 20 percent.

They were also 13 percent less likely to die from cancer and 17 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease.

‘Our results support the importance of promoting exercise participation in adolescence to reduce mortality in later life and highlight the critical need for the initiation of disease prevention early in life,’ said Sarah Nechuta, assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University, to Futurity.

The 2008 Physical Guidelines of America recommends people to workout an average of two-and-a-half hours per week to stay healthy.  

There have been several studies of obesity and how it can impact mortality rates among people. 

But the researchers said this is one of the first studies that analyzes how exercise can have an impact on certain diseases. 

They said it is important to study the mechanisms of these diseases to determine how exercise can prevent them from occurring.