A remarkable 1 in 2 US adults older than 64 years experience at least 2 chronic health conditions. If one is cancer, the top 3 other medical ailments are hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes—what we oncologists refer to as comorbidities.1 The growing body of evidence confirming favorable cancer-specific survival without therapeutic intervention in certain low-risk cancers is a reminder that the instinct to prioritize “the big C” above all is not always medically warranted, and sometimes the other morbidity is, in fact, the morbidity. Considering that US adults 65 years and older currently represent approximately 17% of the population (expected to increase to 21.6% by 2040), combined with the current US life expectancy at birth of 77.8 years, the personal and societal costs of these morbidities are staggering.2 The well-established virtues of structured aerobic exercise on physical and psychological well-being, including improved body mass, blood pressure, and lipid profile, together with its inexpensive and low-risk nature, render it an attractive mechanism for mitigating the negative consequences of these highly prevalent noncancer conditions.3
Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.
Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.
Err on the side of full disclosure.
If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.
Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.
Vapiwala N. The Power of Exercise to Influence Cardiovascular and Oncologic Outcomes—Survival of the Fittest. JAMA Oncol. 2021;7(10):1495–1496. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2021.3065
Monkeypox Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.