THURSDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Heart disease may be a risk
factor for prostate cancer, a new study suggests.
If this link is confirmed in future research, it means that
lifestyle changes that reduce heart disease risk -- such as weight
loss, exercise and a healthy diet -- may also protect men against
prostate cancer, the Duke Cancer Institute researchers said.
"What's good for the heart may be good for the prostate," study author Dr. Jean-Alfred Thomas II, a postdoctoral fellow in the division of urology, said in a Duke Medicine news release.
He and his colleagues analyzed data from 6,390 men in a
four-year clinical trial testing a drug's effectiveness in reducing
prostate cancer risk. Of those men, 547 reported a history of
coronary artery disease before the start of the trial.
The Duke researchers found that men with coronary artery disease
had a 35 percent greater risk of developing prostate cancer over
time and a 24 percent greater risk of being diagnosed with prostate
cancer within the first two years of the study compared to men who
did not have heart disease.
Four years into the clinical trial, men with coronary artery
disease had a 74 percent higher risk of prostate cancer than those
with no heart disease.
"We controlled for a number of risk factors, including hypertension, taking statins or aspirin," Thomas said. "We don't have a good grasp on what's causing the link, but we are observing this association."
The study appears online this month in the journal
Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death among
adults in the United States, and prostate cancer is the second most
deadly type of cancer for men in the United States, the release
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about
prostate cancer risk.