Higher Body Mass Index Linked to Greater Prostate Cancer Risk

Larger waist circumference associated with an increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer.

A higher body mass index (BMI) and a larger waist circumference is associated with an increased risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer.

In the study, researchers examined associations between different body measurements at baseline — mostly BMI and waist circumference – and the risk of prostate cancer, with a focus on the tumor grade and stage, as well as mortality from the disease. The findings were presented at the European Obesity Summit.

The cohort included a total of 141,896 men with a mean age of 52-years-old from 8 European countries. The data were adjusted for smoking, diabetes, physical activity, marital status, and education level.

The average follow-up was 14 years, resulting in 7022 incident cases of prostate cancer, with 934 fatal cases. The results of the study found an increased risk of high grade prostate cancer in men with higher BMI and waist circumference (10% increased risk for BMI for every 5 kg/m2 increase and 13% for waist circumference for every 10cm increase).

For every 5 kg/m2 increase in BMI, there was a 14% higher risk for fatal prostate cancer and an 18% increased risk for every 10 cm waist circumference increase.

“The findings from this large prospective study show that the association between body size and prostate cancer is complex and varies by disease aggressiveness; men who have greater adiposity have an elevated risk of high grade prostate cancer and prostate cancer death,” the authors wrote. “Our results are in line with health advice for other non-communicable diseases. Men should try to maintain a healthy weight.”