Men whose body mass index (BMI) increases to obesity during adulthood may have a higher risk of fatal prostate cancer, according to the results of a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers used data from 69,873 men in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening trial. After 13 years’ follow-up, 7,822 had developed prostate cancer; of those, 3,078 were aggressive and 255 were fatal.

Men whose body mass index increases to obesity during adulthood may have a higher risk of fatal prostate cancer.

BMI was noted at age 20 years, 50 years, and at baseline cancer diagnosis (mean age = 63 years). The risk of fatal prostate cancer was increased in men who had BMIs in the normal or overweight range at age 20 but progressed to obesity at baseline cancer diagnosis compared to men who maintained a normal BMI from age 20 until diagnosis.

Association was not seen between any BMI at any age and risk of aggressive versus nonaggressive prostate cancer. A modest inverse association was found between BMI and risk of total prostate cancer.

Kelly, S.P., Graubard, B.I., Andreotti, G., Younes, N., Cleary, S.D., & Cook, M.B. (2017). Prediagnostic body mass index trajectories in relation to prostate cancer incidence and mortality in the PLCO Cancer Screening Trial. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 109(3), djw225. doi:10.1093/jnci/djw225

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