Prostate cancer is the second leading type of cancer for men after skin cancer. Now, researchers have learned that height and weight have an impact on cancer risks as they find that taller and heavier men are more at risk of the disease.
Taller Men Are More At Risk
Strange as it seems, a team of researchers found that the chances of high grade prostate cancer are higher among men who are physically taller. Specifically, they found that the risks for high grade prostate cancer and prostate cancer death increased by 21 percent and 17 percent respectively with every 10 cm increase in height.
In addition, researchers also associated obesity with higher risks for prostate cancer. However, for the context of the current study, researchers also used waist to hip ratio (WHR) along with body mass index (BMI) to measure the risks, as muscular men may also have high BMIs.
What they found was that every extra 10 cm increase in WHR is associated with a 13 percent increase in high grade prostate cancer risk, and an 18 percent increase in prostate cancer death risks.
In both cases, the researchers found no specific association between height and WHR, and the total risks for prostate cancer. In fact, hip circumference and BMI were found to be inversely related to total prostate cancer risks. However, the increased risks were observed when it comes to high grade prostate cancer and prostate cancer death.
Essentially, men who are taller and have greater BMI and hip circumference have increased risks for aggressive prostate cancer and prostate cancer death.
Among the 141,896 men involved in the study, 7,024 of whom have been diagnosed of prostate cancer at the 13.9-year follow-up. Seven hundred twenty-six among them have high grade cancer, with 934 recorded deaths from the disease.
What interests experts about the results of the study is the finding which shows an inverse relationship between prostate cancer and hip circumference. In this regard, they believe that at least a part of this result is due to issues with detecting the cancer itself.
It is possible that the reasons why obese men are less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer are that their concentrations of prostate-specific antigens are of lower concentrations, they are less likely to get biopsies, and their prostates are much larger. Together, these factors lead to difficulties in detecting prostate cancer.
The results of the study show the complex relationship between adiposity and prostate cancer. Further, it also shed light into the possible contributions of early nutrition and growth to the development of prostate cancer.
The study has been published in the journal BMC Medicine.