Risk of aggressive prostate cancer increases with height

New research conducted at Oxford University has found that the risk of aggressive prostate cancer increases with height.  The research found taller men have an increased risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer than their shorter peers.

The study found that there is little association between overall height and the risk of developing prostate cancer. But taller men have a higher risk of developing aggressive high-grade tumours. For every extra 10cm to a man’s height, his risk of developing an aggressive high-grade tumour increases by 21%. And his chance of death from the disease increases by 17%.

It was also found that men with larger waist circumferences have an increased risk of both developing and dying from the disease.  Every 10cm increase in waist size was found to lead to a 13% rise in the likelihood of developing aggressive tumours. Each 10cm increase also leads to an 18% increase in the risk of dying from the disease.

Conversely, men with a healthy body weight were found to have a reduced risk of prostate cancer and death from the cancer.  The lead researcher of the study, Dr Aurora Perez-Cornago of Oxford University concluded: “These results emphasise the importance of studying risks for prostate cancer separately by stage and grade of tumour. They may also inform strategies for prevention. But we need to do further work to understand why the differences in risk exist.”

46,000 men in the UK are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. And of these, 11,000 men subsequently die from the disease. This research further emphasises the importance of regular health checks. And health checks are especially important for those who fall into the high-risk categories.