BOSTON, June 11 – New research has found that how a man's body fat is distributed can affect his risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer.
Accomplished by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health TH Chan, along with the National Institute of Aging, Bethesda, Maryland, the University of Iceland, the Icelandic Cancer Society and the Icelandic Cancer Registry, the new study looked at 1,832 Icelandic men and women. evaluated the risk of being diagnosed or dying of prostate cancer.
The researchers also measured the body mass index (BMI) of the participants and analyzed the distribution of body fat using a standard gold measure of computed tomography.
Participants were followed for up to 13 years.
The results, published online in the journal CANCER, showed that visceral fat, which is the abdominal fat that surrounds the organs, was associated with an increased risk of advanced prostate cancer, while subcutaneous thigh fat found in the thighs just below the skin was associated with a higher risk of prostate cancer death.
Having a higher body mass index (BMI) and greater waist circumference were also associated with an increased risk of advanced and fatal prostate cancer.
In addition, the team found that men with a leaner BMI but with visceral fat also had a greater risk of advanced and fatal disease.
"Curiously, when we analyzed men with high BMI versus low BMI separately, we found that the association between visceral fat and advanced and fatal prostate cancer was stronger among men with lower BMI. The accuracy of these estimates was limited in this subgroup analysis, but this is an intriguing signal for future research, "commented lead author Barbra Dickerman, PhD.
The team notes that the Global Fund for Cancer Research says there is "strong evidence" of a link between obesity and the risk of advanced prostate cancer. They add that more research is needed to investigate how fat distribution, and how it changes over time, can also affect the disease.
"Ultimately, identifying patterns of fat distribution that are associated with the increased risk of clinically significant prostate cancer may help elucidate the mechanisms that link obesity to aggressive disease and direct men to intervention strategies," said Dickerman . – AFP-Relaxnews