Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, with around 52,000 cases a year.
It is also the second most common cause of cancer death in males in the UK, with almost 12,000 deaths annually.
In addition, although many prostate cancers are slow-growing and may not cause a man harm during his lifetime, others are lethal and these may have different risk factors.
In a study from the University of Oxford, scientists found a link between body fat (adiposity) and the risk of fatal prostate cancer.
They found that every 10cm (3.9 inches) on a man’s waist increased his risk of dying from prostate cancer by 7%.
The association didn’t just apply to belly fat, however, with the rise in risk similar for overall body fatness.
Previous studies have shown that higher adiposity (amount of body fat) is a risk factor for lethal prostate cancer, with central adiposity (fat around the belly and waist) being particularly important.
However, the small number of prostate cancer deaths included in individual studies has made it hard to draw firm conclusions.
In the current study, the team used data from multiple published studies together in a meta-analysis.
It included data on 2.5 million men from 19 studies on the PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science databases, as well as data from a new analysis of data from more than 200,000 men in the UK Biobank study.
In all of the studies included, men who were free of prostate cancer at the start of the study were followed for many years and the number of deaths from prostate cancer during that time was logged.
The team found higher amounts of body fat (adiposity) were linked to a higher likelihood of fatal prostate cancer.
Every five-point increase in BMI was found to increase the risk of dying from prostate cancer by 10%, while a 5% increase in total body fat percentage raised the risk by 3%.
The risk was similarly increased for central adiposity. Each 0.05 increase in waist-to-hip ratio increased the risk of fatal prostate cancer by 6%.
And every 10 cm (3.9 inches) increase in waist circumference increased the odds by 7%.
The researchers also calculated that there would be around 1,300 fewer prostate cancer deaths a year in the UK if the average BMI in men was five points lower.
The team concludes that men with higher total and central adiposity have a higher risk of dying from prostate cancer than men with a healthy weight.
If you care about prostate cancer, please read studies that coffee may help lower the risk of prostate cancer, and dairy foods may increase men’s risk of prostate cancer.
If you care about weight loss, please read studies that hop extract could reduce belly fat in overweight people, and early time-restricted eating could help lose weight.
The study was conducted by Dr. Aurora Perez-Cornago et al and published in BMC Medicine.
Copyright © 2023 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.