Obese men with prostate cancer have higher-grade, larger tumors, according to a study published in Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases.
Body mass index (BMI) is a measurement of height and weight utilized to indicate body fat. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 kg m2 is considered healthy, while a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight and a BMI over 30 is considered obese. Previous research has indicated that a high BMI is associated with more aggressive prostate cancer.
Researchers from Duke conducted a retrospective analysis of 2,302 men treated with radical prostatectomy at the Duke Prostate Center between 1988 and 2007. The mean BMI of all subjects was 28.1. A higher BMI was significantly associated with younger age, African-American race, more recent year of surgery, and positive surgical margins. Furthermore, men with a higher BMI had larger tumors that were higher-grade and had spread throughout more of the prostate. Men with a BMI higher than 35 had tumors that were nearly 40% larger than those of men who were considered to be a normal weight.
The researchers concluded that obese men who were undergoing radical prostatectomy had higher-grade and larger tumors, which led them to conclude that this population of men has more aggressive prostate cancers.
 Freedland SJ, Banez LL, Sun LL, et al. Obese men have higher-grade and larger tumors: An analysis of the Duke Prostate Cancer Center Database. Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases. 2009; 12: 259-263.
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