Being Overweight Increases the Risk of Developing Advanced Prostate Cancer

A new study which appeared in Annals of Oncology study links being overweight in middle age and later adulthood to a greater risk of developing advanced prostate cancer.

In this study, researchers used data from 15 large studies to assess associations between body fat, height, and prostate cancer risk among 830,772 men, 51,734 of whom had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Her study took a life-course-based approach, examining survey data collected across respondents’ lifespans to determine whether at what age during adulthood does body fat increase the risk for advanced prostate cancer.

According to the results of the study, the researchers found that a BMI elevated above a healthy weight during middle to late adulthood–median age range from 50 to 64–was linked to the greatest risk for developing advanced prostate cancer. Moreover, they found that a greater waist circumference was linked with increased risk of advanced prostate cancer and death. Although other studies have linked higher BMI with increased prostate cancer, this is the first study to find a positive association with waist circumference.

“These study results show that risk for advanced prostate cancer can be decreased by maintaining a ‘healthy’ weight, which is in line with guidelines by the American Cancer Society and World Cancer Research Fund. Adopting healthy eating and exercising are factors that can help maintain a healthy weight,” says Genkinger, associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School in a press release. “This study shows that adopting and maintaining healthy weight in middle to late adulthood can especially reduce risk of advanced prostate cancer.”