Obese men have greater risk of prostate cancer

April 2, 2003 in Cancer Prevention, Men's Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Obese men have greater risk of prostate cancer

Obese men may be more than twice as likely to develop prostate cancer as those who are less overweight, French researchers report.

Researchers from "La Miletrie" University Hospital in Poitiers studied 194 prostate cancer patients and the same number of men being treated for a non-cancerous enlarged prostate, or prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

They found that obesity was associated with a 2.5-times greater risk of prostate cancer -- although men who were merely overweight did not show an increased risk. Although the BMI (body mass index) in general was not significantly associated with prostate cancer when compared to BPH, obesity was a risk factor.

BMI is a measure of weight in relation to height. A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is defined as overweight, and 30 or more denotes obesity. In this study, a BMI of 25 or more was not related to prostate cancer risk, but having a 30-plus BMI was.

The findings are backed up by Swedish, Danish and Irish studies that have suggested an association between obesity and prostate cancer risk.

In Western countries, where obesity has reached epidemic proportions, dietary modification and other public-health measures directed at preventing obesity have the potential to reduce the incidence of many medical problems, probably including prostate cancer, say the researchers.

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