Obesity and Prostate Cancer

Categories: Winter 2014

Obesity is increasingly common in the U.S. It is associated with hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease and worse survival rates for many cancers.

Obesity Increases the Risk of High-Grade Prostate Cancer

New research led by Adriana Vidal, PhD, supports the hypothesis that obesity is associated with aggressive prostate cancer.

Study participants included 6,729 men. Overall, 27% of men in the study were normal weight (BMI <25), 53% were overweight (BMI 25-29.9) and 20% were obese (BMI ≥30). Obesity was associated with lower risk of low-grade prostate cancer. However, in multivariable analysis, obesity was associated with increased risk of high-grade prostate cancer (odds radio of 1.28).

Researchers used data from the REDUCE trial. The study was published online in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Obesity and Long-Term Survival after Radical Prostatectomy

A retrospective cohort study assessed the impact of obesity on long-term survival in men who underwent radical prostatectomy.

The study included 11,152 men who had radical prostatectomies. Of this group, 27.6% of men had normal weight (BMI<25), 56% were overweight (BMI 25-29), 14.1% had mild obesity (BMI 30-34), and 2.3% had moderate/severe obesity (BMI ≥35).

During long-term follow-up, researchers found that obese men were more likely to have biochemical recurrence than normal weight men. Biochemical recurrence-free survival was 76% for men with normal weight, compared to 65% for men with mild obesity and 51% for men with moderate/severe obesity.

The study did not find that BMI was consistently associated with prostate cancer specific survival after radical prostatectomy. However, the authors noted that obese men have worse overall survival, and thus may die of other causes before prostate cancer death.

The study was published in The Journal of Urology.

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