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Being overweight may increase consumers’ risk of prostate cancer

Researchers say their findings are another motivator for adults to maintain a ‘healthy’ weight

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Consumers who are overweight tend to be at greater risk of several different health complications. Now, researchers say that prostate cancer may be chief among those health concerns. 

A study conducted by researchers from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health suggests that higher body mass index (BMI) scores in middle age and later adulthood translate to higher risks of advanced prostate cancer, which could lead to premature death.

“We observed positive associations of BMI, waist circumference, and height...with risk of various definitions of advanced/aggressive forms of prostate cancer and prostate cancer mortality,” the team said.

Excess weight and prostate cancer risk

The researchers came to their conclusions after analyzing data from 15 large studies that measured body fat, height, and prostate cancer risk in over 800,000 people. 

After examining survey responses taken throughout the participants’ lifespans, they found that a BMI above a “healthy” level of 21 to 25 between the ages of 50 and 64 resulted in the highest risk of developing advanced prostate cancer. The researchers say these findings demonstrate the importance of maintaining a healthy weight, especially when consumers are entering middle age and beyond.

"These study results show that risk for advanced prostate cancer can be decreased by maintaining a 'healthy' weight, which is in line with guidelines by the American Cancer Society and World Cancer Research Fund. Adopting healthy eating and exercising are factors that can help maintain a healthy weight," said Dr. Jeanine Genkinger, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School. "

“This study shows that adopting and maintaining healthy weight in middle to late adulthood can especially reduce risk of advanced prostate cancer."

The full study has been published in the Annals of Oncology journal.

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