Obesity and prostate cancer aggressiveness among African and Caucasian Americans in a population-based study - Abstract

Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, 6130 Executive Blvd, Room 5140, Bethesda, Maryland, MD, 20852, United States.


This study evaluated obesity and prostate cancer aggressiveness relationship in a population-based incident prostate cancer study.

The North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project includes medical records data for classification of prostate cancer aggressiveness at diagnosis using clinical criteria for 1,049 African-American (AA) and 1,083 Caucasian-American (CA) participants. An association between prostate cancer aggressiveness and obesity, measured using body mass indices (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), was assessed using odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) adjusted for confounders.

A significantly positive association was found between prostate cancer aggressiveness and obesity. The ORs for high aggressive prostate cancer among pre-diagnosis obese and severely obese were 1.48 (95%CI=1.02,2.16) and 1.98 (95%CI=1.31,2.97), respectively, compared to normal weight research subjects. Race stratified results suggested the association is stronger among CAs. Interaction model demonstrated that normal weight AAs had more aggressive prostate cancer compared to normal weight CAs (OR=2.69,95%CI=1.36,5.30); and severe obesity was associated with aggressive disease in AAs (OR=3.90(95%CI=1.97,7.75)). WHR>0.98 among all research subjects adjusted for race was significantly associated with high aggressive prostate cancer (OR=1.42,95%CI=1.00,2.00) when compared to WHR< 0.90. The stratified result is less clear among AAs.

This study demonstrates a positive association between obesity and aggressive prostate cancer. AAs have more aggressive prostate cancer in general compared to CAs even at normal weight. Therefore, the association between obesity and aggressiveness is not as evident in AAs as CAs.

This study provides a unique opportunity to examine impact of race on obesity and high aggressive prostate cancer relationship.

Written by:
Su LJ, Arab L, Steck SE, Fontham ET, Schroeder JC, Bensen JT, Mohler JL.   Are you the author?

Reference: Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011 Apr 5. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-10-0684

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 21467239

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