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Obese men with prostate cancer have higher-grade, larger tumors, according to a study published in Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases.[1]

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.

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[1] 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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