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Body fat and its effects on the risk of prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is a disease that kills thousands of men every year. Researchers have now found that the distribution of a man's body fat significantly affects his risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer.
The latest study by the internationally recognized Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and the University of Iceland found that body fat distribution in men has an impact on the risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "CANCER".
How did the study work?
1,832 Icelandic men were examined for the study. The study assessed the risk of prostate cancer diagnosis or death from the disease among participants. The researchers also measured the so-called body mass index (BMI) of the participants and analyzed the body fat distribution with the help of computer tomography. All people in the study were medically monitored for a period of 13 months.
Subcutaneous fat is associated with fatal prostate cancer
The results show that the visceral fat that surrounds our organs is associated with a higher risk of advanced prostate cancer. The subcutaneous fat, for example, which sits directly under the skin in the thighs, is associated with a higher risk of fatal prostate cancer.
BMI and waist circumference indicate an increased risk of prostate cancer
A higher body mass index (BMI) and a higher waist size were also associated with an increased risk of advanced and fatal prostate cancer. Interestingly, the researchers also found that men with normal BMI and visceral fat were also at higher risk for the advanced and fatal form of cancer.
Low BMI and a lot of visceral fat massively increase risk
When examining men with a high BMI compared to a low BMI, it was observed that the association between visceral fat and advanced and fatal prostate cancer was stronger in men with a lower BMI. This is a fascinating signal for future research, the study's authors report.
More research is needed
The team notes that, for example, the World Cancer Research Fund reports strong evidence of a link between obesity and the risk of advanced prostate cancer. Further research is needed to examine exactly how fat distribution and its change over time can also affect the disease. Ultimately, identifying the patterns of fat distribution associated with the highest risk of clinically significant prostate cancer can help elucidate the mechanisms that link obesity to aggressive diseases, which could lead to improved intervention strategies for affected men. (as)
Link to the original publication:
Body fat distribution on computed tomography imaging and prostate cancer risk and mortality in the AGES ‐ Reykjavik study
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.