A study found that obesity in adolescence or 20s increased the risk of dying from prostate cancer by almost a third.
A large study found that being overweight between the ages of 17 and 29 significantly increases the risk of developing and dying from an aggressive form of the disease.
Obesity results in higher levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), a hormone involved in cell growth and development that scientists believe can cause disease.
While people cannot change risk factors such as age and family history, experts suggest this shows that maintaining a healthy weight is something men can control to reduce their chances of developing prostate cancer.
While many types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may not cause any harm to a person in their lifetime, others are more aggressive, spread quickly outside the prostate, and are difficult to treat.
The scientists wanted to study whether obesity is a risk factor for different strains of the disease.
The researchers analyzed data on 258,477 men in Sweden who were weighed at least three times between the ages of 17 and 60 from 1963 to 2019.
During this time, 23,348 participants were diagnosed with prostate cancer and 4,790 men died, according to findings presented at the European Obesity Congress, with a median age of 70 at diagnosis.
They found that weight gain was higher early in life among the study group, averaging 1.6 pounds per year at age 17 to 29, 0.75 pounds at age 30 to 44, and 0.5 pounds at age from 45 to 60 years old.
Dr Marisa da Silva of Lund University in Sweden said the findings suggest that preventing weight gain at a young age can reduce the risk of developing aggressive and potentially fatal prostate cancer.
Simon Greveson, Associate Director of Prostate Cancer Research UK, said: “Many studies point to a possible link between being overweight and aggressive prostate cancer and this study builds on them, suggesting that being overweight early in life is associated with an increased risk. “While these findings are intriguing, more research is needed to fully understand the biological link between obesity and prostate cancer and, most importantly, how we can use this information to improve outcomes for men.”
Source: Daily Mail
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