Heart Disease Risk Factors Also Tied to Death From Prostate Cancer

MONDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Men with metabolic syndrome -- a group of symptoms linked to heart disease and diabetes risk -- may also face a higher risk of dying from prostate cancer if diagnosed with the disease, according to a large new study.

Metabolic syndrome includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high blood fat levels, as well as greater than normal body-mass index (BMI), a measurement of body fat based on height and weight.

The study authors noted that by following health recommendations on diet and exercise to prevent heart disease and diabetes, men can also lower their risk of death from this form of cancer.

Researchers from Umea University in Sweden, led by Dr. Par Stattin, a visiting scientist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, examined data on more than 290,000 men enrolled in a long-term study on metabolic syndrome and cancer.

Over the course of 12 years, nearly 6,700 of the men were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Of these men, about 1,000 died from the disease. Men with the highest body-mass index had a 36 percent higher risk of dying from prostate cancer. Those with high blood pressure had a 62 percent greater risk of death from the disease. And men with the highest combined score on all metabolic factors were more likely to die from prostate cancer, the study showed.

The study was published online Oct. 22 in the journal Cancer.

The researchers pointed out that metabolic syndrome does not increase men's risk for prostate cancer. Those diagnosed with the disease, however, are more likely to die from it if they also have metabolic syndrome.

"These observations suggest that cardiovascular risk factors such as overweight and hypertension are involved in stimulating the progression of prostate cancer," Stattin concluded in a journal news release.

Although the study found an association between metabolic syndrome and risk of death from prostate cancer, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about prostate cancer.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

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