A new large-scale European study has found that men with a higher body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference are at a higher risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer.
The research was carried out by researchers from the Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, UK, who presented their findings at this year's European Obesity Summit, taking place in Gothenburg June 1 to 4.
A total of 141,896 men with a mean age of 52 years were recruited for the study across eight different European countries, including Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Greece, Germany, Sweden, and Denmark.
Data was collected from the men on various body measurements, mainly BMI and waist circumference, so the team could look into a possible association between body size and obesity and the risk of developing and dying from an aggressive form prostate cancer.
After an average of 14 years of follow-up, and after adjusting the data for factors including education level, smoking, marital status, diabetes and physical activity, the researchers found that men with a higher BMI and waist circumference had an increased risk of developing an aggressive form of prostate cancer, with the risk increasing by 10% for every 5 kg/m2 increase in BMI and 13% for every 10cm increase in waist circumference.
A higher BMI and waist circumference also increased the risk of developing fatal prostate cancer, with a 14% higher risk observed for every 5 kg/m2 increase in BMI, and an 18%increased risk for every 10 cm increase in waist circumference.
Up until now evidence on the link between body size and obesity and the risk of prostate cancer has not been clear, however commenting on the results the authors concluded, "The findings from this large prospective study show that the association between body size and prostate cancer is complex and varies by disease aggressiveness; men who have greater adiposity have an elevated risk of high grade prostate cancer and prostate cancer death," adding, "Our results are in line with health advice for other non-communicable diseases. Men should try to maintain a healthy weight."