Saturated fat intake predicts biochemical failure after prostatectomy

Int J Cancer. 2008 Jun 1;122(11):2581-5. doi: 10.1002/ijc.23414.


Previous reports show that obesity predicts biochemical failure after treatment for localized prostate cancer. Since obesity is associated with increased fat consumption, we investigated the role that dietary fat intake plays in modulating obesity-related risk of biochemical failure. We evaluated the association between saturated fat intake and biochemical failure among 390 men from a previously described prostatectomy cohort. Participants completed a food frequency questionnaire collecting nutrient information for the year prior to diagnosis. Because fat and energy intake are highly correlated, the residual method was used to adjust fat (total and saturated) intakes for energy. Biochemical-failure-free-survival rates were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Crude and adjusted effects were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models. During a mean follow-up of 70.6 months, 78 men experienced biochemical failure. Men who consumed high- saturated fat (HSF) diets were more likely to experience biochemical failure (p = 0.006) and had significantly shorter biochemical-failure-free-survival than men with low saturated fat (LSF) diets (26.6 vs. 44.7 months, respectively, p = 0.002). After adjusting for obesity and clinical variables, HSF-diet patients were almost twice as likely to experience biochemical failure (hazard ratio = 1.95, p = 0.008) compared to LSF diet patients. Men who were both obese and consumed HSF diets had the shortest biochemical-failure-free-survival (19 months), and nonobese men who consumed LSF diets had the longest biochemical-failure-free-survival (46 months, p < 0.001). Understanding the interplay between modifiable factors, such as diet and obesity, and disease characteristics may lead to the development of behavioral and/or targeted interventions for patients at increased risk of progression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Energy Intake
  • Fatty Acids / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / chemically induced
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prostatectomy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Treatment Failure
  • Weight Gain


  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids