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Body Mass, Weight Gain Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk

Last Updated: September 02, 2009.

Men's body mass, as well as weight gain in adulthood, may affect their risk of prostate cancer, according to research published online Sept. 1 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Men's body mass, as well as weight gain in adulthood, may affect their risk of prostate cancer, according to research published online Sept. 1 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Brenda Y. Hernandez, Ph.D., of the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, and colleagues analyzed data from nearly 84,000 men, ages 45 to 75 years, of a variety of ethnic backgrounds. Participants reported their weight and height at baseline and weight at 21 years of age. During an average of 9.6 years of follow-up, 5,554 were diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The researchers found that Caucasians gaining more than 10 pounds since age 21 had a higher risk of advanced and high-grade prostate cancer (relative risk for 25 to 39.9 pounds, 2.12). African-Americans gaining at least 40 pounds had a higher risk of localized cancer (relative risk, 1.26), and those gaining at least 25 pounds had higher risk of low-grade disease (relative risk, 1.28). Japanese men, however, who gained at least 40 pounds had a lower risk of localized disease (relative risk, 0.80).

"Our findings provide some evidence that adiposity, as well as increases in adiposity between younger and older adulthood, may influence the development of prostate cancer. Ethnic differences in risk associated with weight gain may be explained by group differences in the distribution of accumulated body fat which could have a differential effect on prostate carcinogenesis," the authors conclude.

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