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Does Height And Weight Determine Your Risk Of Developing Prostate Cancer?

August 8th, 2017

Does Height And Weight Determine Your Risk Of Developing Prostate Cancer?

Does Height And Weight Determine Your Risk Of Developing Prostate Cancer?

A latest research suggests that tall heighted obese men are at much higher risk of developing aggressive type of prostate cancer. The study demonstrated the mechanism through which the disease progresses in tall, obese men.

Details Of The Study

The Oxford University, UK, researchers set out to investigate the correlation between the prostate cancer and predisposing factors like obesity and height. The results from the similar previous studies were rather confusing and unclear. For example, some studies suggested that there’s an evident link between the BMI and the prostate cancer risk however they demonstrated that height has nothing to do with it. Also, the earlier studies took no consideration of the cancer stage or grade i.e. their conclusions were independent of tumor progression. However, this unique study conducted by Dr. Aurora Perez-Cornago and colleagues. focused not only on the correlation between prostate cancer and height and obesity but also on differentiating the advanced tumors from the low – grade tumors.

The analytical data was compiled from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition and was studied on 141,896 participants (men with an average of 52) from several European countries like UK, Sweden, Spain, Netherlands, Greece, Germany, Italy and Denmark. The results suggested that:

  • About 7,024 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer
  • 1,388 men had advanced prostate cancer
  • 726 had high-grade tumor

Key Findings Of The Study

Black Men with Low-Risk Prostate Cancer image

After the thorough analysis of the compiled data, the researched came to a conclusion that height did not serve as a contributing factor to high risk of prostate cancer. But they speculated that height was associated to high-grade tumor and increased mortality rates due to prostate cancer. Height increased the risk of high grade tumor by 21% whereas it increased the mortalityrate by 17%.

The reason why height contributes to prostate cancer is not clearly understood. The researchers also found an evident association between this kind of cancer and BMI. High values of BMI can lead to increased incidence of tumors with high grade and also influence the prostate cancer associated rates of death.      

The criteria often reliable for measuring obesity in older men is waist circumference rather than BMI. Using this criterion, it was revealed that obesity can increase the risk of prostate cancer associated mortality rate by 18% and incidence of tumor of high grade by 13%.

Obese men undergo hormonal changes which may lead to increased likelihood of developing cancer, more aggressive in nature. It has also been observed that hormonal influence can lead to the exacerbation of the already existing prostate cancer. The lead author and her team also speculated that having an ideal body weight can significantly minimize the risk of mortality and tumor related complications in men.

Even when the findings of the study are unique and promising, Dr. Perez-Cornago believes that it requires further investigation and research in detail. She believes that the results of the study suggest that the predisposing factors associated to this type of cancer should be researched and studied with respect to the grading and stages of prostate cancer. She speculates that the detailed analysis could also assist in improving preventive measures which could help in improving the quality of life.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            


  • De Ridder, J., Julián-Almárcegui, C., Mullee, A., Rinaldi, S., Van Herck, K., Vicente-Rodríguez, G., & Huybrechts, I. (2016). Comparison of anthropometric measurements of adiposity in relation to cancer risk: a systematic review of prospective studies. Cancer Causes & Control, 27(3), 291-300.
  • 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. JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 109(3).

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