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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2001 Apr;10(4):345-53.

Body mass index, height, and prostate cancer mortality in two large cohorts of adult men in the United States.

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Department of Epidemiology and Surveillance Research, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, Georgia 30329-4251, USA.


Body weight and height have both been associated consistently with postmenopausal breast cancer but less consistently with prostate cancer. The present study examined the relationship between body mass index (BMI), height, and death from prostate cancer in two large American Cancer Society cohorts. Men in the study were selected from the male participants in Cancer Prevention Study I (CPS-I; enrolled in 1959 and followed through 1972) and Cancer Prevention Study II (CPS-II; enrolled in 1982 and followed through 1996). After exclusions, 1,590 prostate cancer deaths remained among 381,638 men in CPS-I and 3,622 deaths among 434,630 men in CPS-II. Cox proportional hazards modeling was used to compute rate ratios (RR) and to adjust for confounders. Prostate cancer mortality rates were significantly higher among obese (BMI, > or =30) than nonobese (BMI, <25) men in both cohorts [adjusted RR, 1.27; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.04-1.56 in CPS-I; RR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.07-1.37 in CPS-II]. Prostate cancer mortality rates in the CPS-I cohort were lowest for the shortest men (RR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.63-1.03 for men <65 inches versus 65-66 inches) and highest for the tallest men (RR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.11-1.74 for men > or =73 inches tall versus 65-66 inches). Rates remained constant among men 65-72 inches tall. No association between height and prostate cancer mortality was observed in the CPS-II cohort (RR, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.82-1.29 for men > or =75 versus 65-66 inches). These results support the hypothesis that obesity increases risk of prostate cancer mortality. Decreased survival among obese men may be a likely explanation for this association.

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