Weight gain before age of 30 increases risk of prostate cancer death by 27%

Weight gain before age of 30 increases risk of prostate cancer death by 27%

New research suggests a strong link between men gaining weight early in life and developing prostate cancer.

Men who put on two stone before turning 30 are 27% more likely to die from prostate cancer in old age than those who maintain their teenage weight.

This is according to new findings that emerged as part of the Obesity and Disease Development Sweden study, where 250,000 participants were analysed from 1963 to 2014.

Results show that those who gained at least half a kilogram per year from 17 to 60 had a 10% greater risk of aggressive prostate cancer and a 29% greater risk of fatal prostate cancer.

Gaining weight more rapidly puts you at a similar risk. For example, a man putting on 13kg between the ages of 17 and 29 is associated with a 13% increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer, as well as a 27% increased risk of fatal prostate cancer.

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Key to prevention

Dr Marisa da Silva, of the department of translational medicine at Lund University, said: ‘Knowing more about the factors that cause prostate cancer is key to preventing it.

‘We do not know if it is the weight gain itself or the long duration of being heavier that is the main driver of the association that we see. Nevertheless, one must gain weight to become heavier, so preventing a steep increase in weight in young men is imperative for the prevention of prostate cancer.’

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer occurring in men. One in six UK men are diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime.

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