Prostate cancer linked to men's waistline size, research suggests

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03 Jun 2016

Men with larger waistlines could be at higher risk of developing prostate cancer, new research has suggested.

The study, by researchers at the University of Oxford, analysed data on 130,000 men in aged in their fifties from eight different European countries. It found men were most at risk from the cancer when their waistline exceeds 37 inches (94 cm). 

Men with a 37 inch waistline were found to have a 13% higher risk of aggressive prostate cancer than men with a waist of 33 inches (84cm).

The research suggests a higher mortality rate is associated higher Body Mass Indexes (BMI), as it may be linked to more aggressive forms of the cancer, known as high grade prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer for men in the UK. Around 47,000 men are diagnosed with it in the UK every year, with an estimated 10,800 annual fatalities.


Simon Grieveson, Head of Research Funding at Prostate Cancer UK told The Independent: “Maintaining a healthy weight and staying active can protect against many diseases, including cancer. This research adds to a growing amount of evidence that shows that weight and waist size could be another crucial risk factor for men to be aware of when it comes to protecting themselves against prostate cancer.”

He added that the research was a reminder of the need to be vigilant for symptoms of the disease and to aid earlier diagnosis by acting on concerns as they arise: “Prostate cancer is often symptomless in the early stages when it is most treatable which is why awareness of risk is so crucial.  We already know that men over 50, black men and men with a family history of prostate cancer are more likely to develop the disease. These findings may give doctors another warning sign to look out for. Importantly, unlike the other known risk factors, being overweight is a risk factor that men can proactively do something to change.”

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