(HealthDay News) — Specific fat deposits, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference are associated with an increased risk for advanced and fatal prostate cancer, according to a study published online June 10 in Cancer.

Barbra A. Dickerman, Ph.D., from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues examined the role of objectively measured body fat distribution and the risk for clinically relevant prostate cancer in a prospective study of 1,832 men. Participants underwent baseline computed tomography imaging of fat deposition, bioelectric impedance analysis, and measurement of BMI and waist circumference from 2002 to 2006. Researchers used nationwide cancer registries to follow men for the incidence of total, high-grade, advanced, and fatal prostate cancer through 2015 (172, 43, 41, and 31 cases, respectively).

The researchers found that visceral fat and thigh subcutaneous fat correlated with the risk for advanced and fatal disease among all men (hazard ratios, 1.31 and 1.37, respectively, per one standard deviation increase; 95 percent confidence intervals, 1.00 to 1.72 and 1.00 to 1.88, respectively). Visceral fat was associated with advanced and fatal disease among men who were leaner based on BMI. The risk for advanced and fatal disease was increased in association with BMI and waist circumference. No correlation was noted for adiposity measures with total or high-grade disease.

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“The identification of the adiposity phenotypes at highest risk of clinically relevant prostate cancer may help to elucidate the mechanisms linking obesity with aggressive disease and target intervention strategies,” the authors write.

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