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Thursday, 13 July 2017

Tall Men at higher risk of getting aggressive Prostate Cancer - study reveals

Tall and overweight men are in greater danger of aggressive prostate cancer. A six foot tall man has a 21 per cent higher risk of high-grade prostate cancer than one who is five feet and eight inches, study reveals.


Middle-aged spread of around four inches around the waist can raise the risk by another 13 per cent, an Oxford University study has found.

Tall men have higher levels of growth hormones which cause them to shoot upwards as children, but are linked to prostate cancer in adulthood.

Men who are overweight, particularly those putting on weight around their middle, are thought to alter their testosterone levels, which may also lead to cancer. Both groups of larger men are also at increased risk of dying from prostate cancer.

Lead author Dr Aurora Perez-Cornago said: ‘The finding of high risk in taller men may provide insights into the mechanisms underlying prostate cancer development, for example related to early nutrition and growth.

‘We also found that a healthy body weight is associated with a reduced risk of high grade prostate cancer and death from prostate cancer years later.’

Each year more than 46,000 men in the UK are diagnosed with prostate cancer and around 11,000 die from the disease.

Prostate cancer tumours can be slow-growing ‘pussycats’ or aggressive, fast-growing, quick to spread and potentially deadly ‘tigers’.

Researchers looked at medical data for 141,896 men across eight countries, including Britain, to find the risk of the ‘tiger’ version rose for taller men and those with a higher body mass index (BMI) or waist circumference.

The risk goes up significantly for every 3.9 inches of height, or 3.9 inches of weight around someone’s middle, the findings show.

For every height increase of this amount, the risk of aggressive prostate cancer rose more than a fifth, by 21 per cent. For every increase in waist size, the risk rose 13 per cent.

Taller men saw their odds of death from prostate cancer increase 17 per cent for every 3.9 inches, with fatter men raising their risk of dying from the disease by 18 per cent.

Dr Matthew Hobbs, deputy director of research at Prostate Cancer UK, said: ‘It is certainly interesting that, according to this research, certain physical characteristics appear to increase a man’s likelihood of developing aggressive prostate cancer, as it might provide pointers to help uncover certain genetic markers and early developmental processes which hold significance in terms of causing the disease to develop.

‘It also underlines once again the importance of living a healthy lifestyle to help defend against a host of diseases, including prostate cancer.’

Very little is known about what happens in cells to trigger prostate cancer. However men who are overweight are known to have high insulin levels in their blood, which is linked to the disease.

Tall men have larger prostates, which may put them in greater danger, while the growth hormones which made them tall may also cause cells to divide more often, raising the chances of a cancer-causing fault to develop when they do.

The study, reported in the journal BMC Medicine, found height did not increase the chances of someone getting a lower-grade form of prostate cancer, although BMI and waist circumference did.

Dr Perez-Cornago said: ‘These results emphasise the importance of studying risks for prostate cancer separately by stage and grade of tumour. They may also inform strategies for prevention, but we need to do further work to understand why the differences in risk exist.’

Daily Mail

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