Taller men and those with a higher body mass index (BMI) may be at increased risk for high-grade prostate cancer and disease-related mortality, according to the results of a study published in BMC Medicine.

Researchers explored the association of height and obesity with prostate cancer by looking at different tumor characteristics and mortality with an emphasis on cancer subtypes, which was an innovative aspect. They included data from 141,896 men in the EPIC cohort study, of which 7,024 had prostate cancer and 934 died from the disease.

They found that for every 10 cm increase in waist size, patients had a 13% increased risk of high-grade prostate cancer and an 18% increased risk of cancer-related mortality. And for every 10 cm increase in height, patients had a 21% increased risk of high-grated prostate cancer and 17% increased risk of cancer-related mortality.

The researchers recognized that height is not a modifiable risk factor but that their study provides evidence that maintaining or achieving a healthy weight may reduce men’s risk. They also noted that further research is needed to determine if the relationship is causal and the underlying mechanisms, such as hormone alterations.