French researchers from “La Miletrie” University Hospital in Politiers, have found that obese men are more than twice as likely to develop prostate cancer than are non-obese men.
The study involved 194 prostate cancer patients and 194 men being treated for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). They found that men in the cancer group had a mean body mass index of 26.1 compared to 25.7 in the BPH group. These results were not statistically different, however when they compared the proportions of men in both groups with a BMI of more than 29 they found a significant link. Obese men had a 2.47 times greater risk of having prostate cancer.
These findings are backed up by Swedish, Danish and Irish studies. Researchers concluded that in western countries where obesity has reached epidemic proportions, dietary modification and other public health measures directed at preventing obesity have the potential to reduce the incidence of many medical problems, probably including prostate cancer.
(Source: British Journal of Urology 2003; 91:482-484)