(HealthDay News) — Adherence to a healthy lifestyle is associated with close to a 50% lower risk for developing lethal prostate cancer among men at high risk for the disease, according to a study recently published in European Urology.

Anna Plym, PhD, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined whether men at an increased genetic risk for prostate cancer can offset their risk for disease or disease progression by adhering to a healthy lifestyle. The analysis included 12,411 genotyped men participating in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1993 to 2019) and the Physicians’ Health Study (1983 to 2010).

The researchers found that the polygenic risk score (PRS) enabled risk stratification not only for overall prostate cancer but also for lethal disease, with a 4-fold difference between men in the highest and lowest quartiles (hazard ratio, 4.32). Adhering to a healthy lifestyle was associated with a decreased rate of lethal prostate cancer (hazard ratio, 0.55) for men in the highest PRS quartile compared with having an unhealthy lifestyle, yielding a lifetime risk of 1.6% among the healthy men and 5.3% among the unhealthy men. There was no association seen between adhering to a healthy lifestyle and a decreased risk for overall prostate cancer.


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“Having a high genetic risk is often viewed as something very deterministic, but our findings suggest it may not be,” Plym said in a statement. “Through lifestyle modifications, early screening, and early treatment we may be able to deal with high genetic risks.”

Abstract/Full Text