A recent study published in the open access journal BMC Medicine has revealed that tall, overweight men have more chances of developing high-grade prostate cancer and death from prostate cancer. The team led by the University of Oxford, UK discovered that while height was not related with overall prostate cancer risk, a risk of advanced disease and death from prostate cancer was raised by 21% and 17% respectively with every extra ten centimetres (3.9 inches) of height.
Higher BMI was also found to be linked with increased chances of high-grade tumours, as well as more odds of death from prostate cancer. The circumference of the waist is a more exact measure of obesity than BMI in the elderly and was linked to an 18% more risk of death from prostate cancer and a 13% greater risk of high-grade cancer with every ten centimetres (3.9 inches) addition in waist circumference.
Lead author Aurora Perez-Cornago said that the finding of high risk in taller men may provide understandings into the processes behind prostate cancer development, for example, connected with early nutrition and growth. Here are 7 reasons why prostate cancer is a silent killer.
Perez-Cornago added that they also unearthed that a healthy body weight is related to a lesser reduced of high-grade prostate cancer and death from prostate cancer after some years. The observed links with obesity may be because of fluctuations in hormone levels in obese men, which in turn may add to the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. However, the difference in prostate cancer may also be partially because of variances in prostate cancer detection in men with obesity.
“The data illustrate the complex association of adiposity and prostate cancer, which varies by disease aggressiveness. These results emphasise the importance of studying risks for prostate cancer separately by stage and grade of tumour. They may also inform strategies for prevention, but we need to do further work to understand why the differences in risk exist,” she added.
The researchers used information from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), a prospective European cohort of 141,896 men, collected in eight countries – Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the UK, Germany and Greece.
The data included 7,024 incident prostate cancers, 726 high-grade and 1,388 advanced-stage prostate cancers, and 934 prostate cancer deaths. The authors warn that in older adults such as those participating in this study, who were on average 52 years or older, BMI as a measure of weight and obesity may be less sensitive than in younger men.
This might have led to an underestimation of the incidence of obesity. Even then, waist circumference, which is a more exact measure of obesity than BMI in elderly men, was related to a greater chance of prostate cancer death and high-grade disease.
Additional research is required to understand whether the higher risk of aggressive prostate cancer in men with obesity is because of a greater chance of developing aggressive forms of the disease or because of differences in prostate cancer detection.