Background: Body size has been hypothesized to influence the risk of prostate cancer; however, most epidemiologic studies have relied on body mass index (BMI) to assess adiposity, whereas only a few studies have examined whether body fat distribution predicts prostate cancer.
Methods: We examined the association of height, BMI, waist and hip circumference, and waist-hip ratio with prostate cancer risk among 129,502 men without cancer at baseline from 8 countries of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), using Cox regression, with age as time metric, stratifying by study center and age at recruitment, and adjusting for education, smoking status, alcohol consumption, and physical activity.
Results: During a mean follow-up of 8.5 years, 2,446 men developed prostate cancer. Waist circumference and waist-hip ratio were positively associated with risk of advanced disease. The relative risk of advanced prostate cancer was 1.06 (95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.1) per 5-cm-higher waist circumference and 1.21 (95% confidence interval, 1.04-1.39) per 0.1-unit-higher waist-hip ratio. When stratified by BMI, waist circumference and waist-hip ratio were positively related to risk of total, advanced, and high-grade prostate cancer among men with lower but not among those with higher BMI (Pinteraction for waist with BMI, 0.25, 0.02, and 0.05, respectively; Pinteraction for waist-hip ratio with BMI, 0.27, 0.22, and 0.14; respectively).
Conclusions: These data suggest that abdominal adiposity may be associated with an increased risk of advanced prostate cancer. This association may be stronger among individuals with lower BMI; however, this finding needs confirmation in future studies.