Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is independently associated with an increased likelihood of a prostate cancer (PCa) diagnosis, but any individual component of the syndrome is not, a new study suggests.

Bimal Bhindi, MD, of the University of Toronto, and colleagues studied 2,235 men without a prior PCa diagnosis undergoing prostate biopsy. Of these, 494 (22.1%) had MetS, which was defined as the presence of any three of the following components: obesity, hypertension, impaired fasting glucose or diabetes, low high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and hypertriglyceridemia.

Having three or more components of MetS versus no component was associated with a 54% increased odds of a PCa diagnosis, a 56% increased odds of clinically significant PCa, and a 56% increased odds of intermediate- or high-grade PCa, Dr. Bhindi’s group reported online ahead of print in European Urology.

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In analyses stratified by obesity, the association between MetS and a PCa diagnosis was slightly stronger among obese versus non-obese subjects. After adjusting for obesity, the risk associated with MetS was not attenuated, “suggesting that obesity is not driving this association.”

“Our findings suggest that men with MetS may require a lower threshold for performing biopsy,” the authors concluded. “MetS may be worth considering for potential inclusion in PCa risk calculators in future studies.”