Study Associates High BMI With Risk of Aggressive Prostate Cancer

A study presented at the ongoing European Obesity Summit has confirmed a correlation between the risk of developing high grade prostate cancer and high body mass index and waist circumference.

A study presented at the ongoing European Obesity Summit has confirmed a correlation between the risk of developing high grade prostate cancer and high body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference.

The international study, conducted among nearly 150,000 men across 8 European countries has been called the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition or EPIC trial. The primary goal of this study was to compare the risk of prostate cancer incidence—particularly the stage and grade of the disease—as well as mortality, in men with varying body measurements of BMI and waistline.

At a mean age of 52 years, 141,896 men from Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Greece, Germany, Sweden, and Denmark participated in the EPIC study. The data was normalized for education level, smoking marital status, diabetes, and physical activity.

The 14 year follow-up found that a little over 7000 men in the entire cohort developed prostate cancer, of whom 13%, or 934 men, died. The researchers analyzing this data focused their attention on high grade and fatal disease, and found that a majority of men who had a bigger waist circumference or a bigger BMI were more prone to developing an aggressive form of prostate cancer (10% increased risk for BMI for every 5 kg/m2 increase and 13% for waist circumference for every 10 cm increase). Additionally, a 5 kg/m2 increase in BMI raised a person’s risk of dying by 14%, while a 10 cm increase in waist circumference raised that risk to 18%.

Summarizing their findings, the authors state that men who have greater adiposity have an elevated risk of high grade prostate cancer and prostate cancer death.

The association between cancer and obesity is known for a while now, and a recent study published in the journal Nature found that adiposity can trigger changes in stem-cell behavior in the gut. The study showed that mice who were fed a diet of 60% fat for 9-12 months gained 30% to 50% more body weight, and developed more intestinal tumors than mice on a normal diet.

Reference

Higher BMI, waist circumference are associated with increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer. ScienceDaily website. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160602121838.htm. Published 2 June 2016. Accessed June 3, 2016.