BMJ open 2017 10 277(10) e016905 doi 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-016905
The cohort was set up to study the impact of lifestyle factors in early adulthood on disease outcomes, with a focus on assessing the influence of body composition and physical performance in early adulthood on subsequent cancer risk.
Men born in 1958 who performed their military service between the ages of 17 and 30 years were included in this study (n=31 158). They were eligible for military service if they were healthy or had only minor health problems diagnosed at the beginning of their service. Men with chronic illnesses requiring regular medication or treatment were not eligible for service. Comprehensive health data including diagnosed illnesses, anthropometric measures and health behaviour were collected at the beginning and at the end of military service, including data from medical check-ups.
FINDINGS TO DATE
During the follow-up, 1124 new cancer cases were diagnosed between baseline (ie, end of the military service for each individual) and end of the year 2014. In the end of the follow-up, 91% of the study participants were still alive. Overweight (body mass index (BMI) ≥25 kg/m(2)) and obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m(2)) were associated with an overall increased risk of cancer. A good or excellent physical condition significantly reduced cancer risk.
The dataset offers the possibility of linkage with other databases, such as the Finnish Cancer Registry (eg, primary site of the tumour, morphology, time of detection, spreading and primary treatment), vital statistics (date of emigration or deaths), censuses (socioeconomic indicators), hospital discharge data (comorbidity) and population surveys (life habits).