(HealthDay News) — The larger a man, the greater his risk of developing and dying from aggressive prostate cancer, according to a study published online in BMC Medicine.

Aurora Perez-Cornago, PhD, a nutritional epidemiologist with the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues came to their conclusions based on data from 141,896 men in 8 European countries who participated in a large-scale study of cancer and nutrition. Among these men, 7024 developed prostate cancer during an average 14 years of follow-up, including 726 diagnosed with high-grade cancer and 1388 with advanced-stage cancer. Of those diagnosed, 934 died from their cancer.

Every additional 4 inches of height was associated with a 21% increase in risk of being diagnosed with high-grade prostate cancer, and a 17% increased risk of dying from prostate cancer, the researchers found. The same held true regarding the size of a man’s waist. Every 4-inch increase in waist circumference was associated with a 13% increased risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer and an 18% increased risk of dying from prostate cancer.

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“In summary, the findings from this large European prospective study provide evidence that men with greater height and adiposity (high body mass index and waist circumference) have an elevated risk of high-grade prostate cancer and prostate cancer death,” the authors write. “The data presented illustrate the complex association of adiposity and prostate cancer, which varies by disease aggressiveness.”

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  1. Perez-Cornago A, Appleby PN, Pischon T, et al. Tall height and obesity are associated with an increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer: results from the EPIC cohort study. BMC Med. 13 July 2017. doi: 10.1186/s12916-017-0876-7