CENTRAL adiposity, the accumulation of fat around the abdominal area, has been shown to strongly predispose the risk of death from prostate cancer, according to a recent study presented at the European and International Conference on Obesity (ECOICO).
Limited evidence towards the relationship between adiposity and increased risk of death from prostate cancer is available; however, further research was required to confirm whether this association is linked to total adiposity or if the distribution of fat also impacted the risk. Therefore, Dr Aurora Perez-Cornago, Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Oxford, UK, and her team recruited 218,225 males from the UK Biobank study (aged 40–69 years and recruited between 2006 and 2010) who were free from cancer at the baseline date to determine how both total adiposity and body fat distribution relate to fatal prostate cancer.
Data from health administrative databases and information regarding BMI, total body fat percentage, waist-to-hip ratio, and waist circumference were collected, and the patients’ health was followed for 10.8 years. Results found that while there was no clear association between BMI or total fat percentage with risk, a positive correlation was made between amount of central adiposity and risk of prostate cancer death. The likelihood of death from prostate cancer was 35% more for individuals in the top 25% for waist circumference than those in the bottom 25%. Similarly, those in the top 25% for waist-to-hip ratio were 34% more likely to die than males in the bottom 25%.
Dr Perez-Cornago concluded: “We found a significant association between concentration of body fat around the belly and waist and the risk of prostate cancer death, but no clear association between total body fat and risk of prostate cancer death.” She also noted that high BMI increases the risk of various cancers and diseases and therefore people should consider the possible impact of excess body fat wherever it is found in the body. For future studies, the team will examine the correlation between adiposity and aggressive types of prostate cancer, including advanced stage and high-grade disease.