Obesity in Men Linked to Increased Risk of Fatal Prostate Cancer

New research further underlines the dangers of obesity, as data suggest that a man’s risk of dying from prostate cancer increases 7% for every 4-inch increase in belly fat. The findings were reported in BMC Medicine.

In this study, researchers reviewed data on over 2.5 million men, which they obtained from 19 published studies, and an analysis of more than 200,000 men from the UK Biobank. At baseline, no man in the population of interested had prostate cancer. The research team assessed body weight via body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, and/or body fat percentage.

Troublingly, the results showed that the risk of prostate cancer mortality increased in all measures, and every five-point increase in BMI resulted in a 10% increase in the risk of prostate cancer death. Moreover, the investigators observed that a 5% rise in total body fat percentage raised the risk of dying from prostate cancer by 3%, and each 0.05 increase in waist-to-hip ratio augmented the risk of dying from prostate cancer by 6%.

“Our findings should encourage men to maintain a healthy weight,” said study co-author Dr. Aurora Perez-Cornago, a nutritional epidemiologist at the University of Oxford in England via a press release about the study.

“The meta-analysis presented in this publication is consistent with several other prospective analyses supporting obesity and central adiposity as a risk factor for prostate cancer incidence and death,” said Dr. Andrew Laccetti, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Montvale, N.J.

Dr. Stephen Freedland, who directs the Center for Integrated Research in Cancer and Lifestyle at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles added that: “This is a well-done study that reinforces what I tell my patients: Try to lose weight if you are overweight or obese.”