IMR Press / JOMH / Volume 15 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.22374/jomh.v15i3.139

Journal of Men’s Health (JOMH) is published by IMR Press from Volume 17 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Dougmar Publishing Group.

Original Research


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1 Sports & Health Medicine Center, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea
2 Health Promotion Center, Ehwa Womans University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea
3 Department of Physical Education, Gangneung-Wonju National University, Gangneung-si, Republic of Korea

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

J. Mens. Health 2019, 15(3), 35–45;
Submitted: 20 March 2019 | Accepted: 10 June 2019 | Published: 9 August 2019

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.

colon polyp
odds ratio
physical activity
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