Obesity and the risk of prostate cancer


  • Michael P. Porter,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Urology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington
    • Department of Urology, H220 Health Sciences Center, Box 357 183, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98195.
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  • Janet L. Stanford

    1. Division of Public Health Sciences, Program in Epidemiology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington
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Prostate cancer and obesity are common diseases among men in the United States. A link between obesity and prostate cancer risk has potential implications in understanding prostate cancer genesis and screening strategies.


We conducted a population-based case-control study examining the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and prostate cancer risk. Incident cases of prostate cancer were identified in King County, Washington, using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) cancer registry. Interviews were completed with 753 men ages 40–64 that were diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1993 and 1996. Interviews were also completed with 703 age-matched controls identified from the same population through random digit dialing. Logistic regression was performed to generate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals while controlling for age, race, education, smoking, family history, prostate cancer screening, dietary fat, and caloric intake.


BMI was inversely related to prostate cancer risk (P for trend = 0.04). Men with a BMI > 29 kg/m2 had the lowest risk of prostate cancer (odds ratio = 0.77; 95% confidence interval = 0.56, 1.06). Weight was also inversely associated with prostate cancer risk (P for trend = 0.03), however, height was not.


The results of this study support the hypothesis that obesity is inversely associated with prostate cancer risk in middle-aged men. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.