Obesity among men could be increasing prostate cancer deaths, study suggests

Hundreds of lives are being lost to prostate cancer because of high levels of obesity among men, a new study suggests. More than 1,300 prostate cancer deaths could potentially be prevented every year in the UK if the average man was not overweight, researchers claimed. Men needed to shave just five points from their body mass index score (BMI) to slash the current grim statistics, they said.

While obesity has been linked to 13 other cancers – including of the stomach, liver, pancreas and kidney – the association between prostate cancer and weight has only just started to be explored by scientists.

Academics looked at previous data on the topic and augmented it with fresh research, examining 218,237 men enrolled in the UK Biobank study whose BMI, waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio were taken.

They were then tracked for an average of 12 years. A total of 661 men dying from prostate cancer during the follow-up period.

After analysing the health data on those who died, and comparing it to those who did not, the researchers found for every five additional points on a man’s BMI score they were 7% more likely to die from prostate cancer.