Study: Beer belly increases chance of aggressive prostate cancer

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UNDATED (Gray News) Listen up, men. If you're storing fat in your belly and your thighs, your risk of aggressive prostate cancer is higher.

Where the fat was in a man’s body plays a bigger role in prostate cancer risk than does the amount of overall fat.

The findings were published Monday in Cancer, an online journal of the American Cancer Society.

This isn't the first time a study has shown a connection between obesity and an elevated risk of advanced prostate cancer.

It's long been known that excessive belly fat leaves men more vulnerable to cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and an enlarged prostate.

What's new is that emerging evidence suggests the specific distribution of the fat may be an important factor, as well.

The study says men with visceral fat deep in the abdomen surrounding their organs and subcutaneous fat just under the skin in their thighs have a greater risk of advanced and fatal prostate cancer.

Bottom line: Where the fat was located played a bigger role in prostate cancer risk than did the amount of overall fat.

"Interestingly, when we looked separately at men with a high BMI (body mass index) versus low BMI, we found that the association between visceral fat and advanced and fatal prostate cancer was stronger among men with a lower BMI, said Barbra Dickerman of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Dickerman said the finding is worth additional research.

"Ultimately, identifying the patterns of fat distribution that are associated with the highest risk of clinically significant prostate cancer may help to elucidate the mechanisms linking obesity with aggressive disease and target men for intervention strategies," Dickerman said.

Until then, losing excess weight and keeping it off is always considered good advice.

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