Overweight Prostate Cancer Sufferers More Likely to Die of the Disease

Jun 14, 2009 by

Overweight Prostate Cancer Sufferers More Likely to Die of the Disease

If one is obese, one has a much higher probability of contracting a host of various degenerative diseases, as well as to live a much shorter life.

Logically speaking, with a weaker body and a compromised immune system, an overweight person would also be less able to fend off and recover from various health conditions.

Overweight Prostate Cancer Sufferers More Likely to Die of the Disease

by Reuben Chow

A study published in November’s The Lancet Oncology has revealed that overweight and obese men who were later diagnosed with prostate cancer are a lot more likely to die from the disease as compared to men with healthy weight. In addition, it also found that men with higher blood concentrations of C-peptide, which is a protein reflective of the amount of insulin secretion, who later get prostate cancer are also more likely to die from the disease as compared to men with lower levels of the protein.

While previous research had suggested a link between excess weight and higher risks of prostate cancer progression and disease-related death, specific associations relating being overweight and prostate cancer mortality were not so clear-cut. This study helps to concretize earlier findings. On top of that, it also reveals that the link is stronger then previously believed.

Further, by showing the link between high plasma concentrations of C-peptide before diagnosis of prostate cancer and the risk of dying from the disease, this study also goes some way toward revealing why obesity actually increases prostate cancer mortality.

Details of Study

Led by Jing Ma, MD, MPH, PhD, an Harvard researcher from the Department of Epidemiology at Brigham and Women‘s Hospital, the study team looked at data of 2,546 men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in the course of the 24-year follow-up of the Physician Health’s Study. The Physician’s Health Study is a large, long-term study which covered over 22,000 doctors.

Factors such as age and whether or not the subjects smoked were controlled for. Body mass index (BMI), C-peptide concentrations (a marker for insulin secretion; heavier men tend to produce more insulin) and whether or not the men died of prostate cancer were then analyzed for associations.

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