Shenghui Wu, M.D., Ph.D., M.M., a faculty member at the Laredo Regional Campus of UT Health San Antonio, spoke recently at the Fifth International Conference on Exercise and Medicine in Guangzhou, China.
Dr. Wu is an assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics. She reported on four studies:
• The associations of physical activity with the risk of the metabolic syndrome,
• The associations of physical activity with the risk of cancer,
• Fruit and vegetable intake with mental health conditions in Mexican-Americans, and
• Fruit and vegetable intake with cancer risk in Mexican-Americans.
“These analyses used data from the Cameron County Hispanic Cohort (CCHC), an ongoing study of the health habits of Mexican-Americans from communities along the Mexican-American border,” Dr. Wu said.
“In the baseline survey, conducted between 2003 and 2016, about 4,100 participants aged 18 years or older participated. All of the participants responded to a detailed survey of demographic characteristics; lifestyle including diet, physical activity, obesity; and family and medical history. Metabolic and other biomarkers were also measured,” she said.
“We found that increased moderate and vigorous physical activity was associated with a significantly reduced risk for metabolic syndrome and cancer, after excluding the effects of other factors,” she said. Metabolic syndrome is a group of health conditions that often result in an increased risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. This group of health conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and high fat levels in the blood, as well as the accumulation of body fat around the waist. “Moderate and vigorous physical activity significantly helped reduce these health risks,” Dr. Wu said.
“Increased fruit and vegetable intake also was associated with a significant reduction in cancer risk, and a significant reduction in the odds of symptoms of cognitive impairment, the indication of increased risk of dementia, and anxiety after excluding the effect of other confounding factors,” she added.