TUESDAY, Nov. 12, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Men who are overweight or obese when they're diagnosed with prostate cancer face a higher risk of dying from the disease, a new study suggests.
Researchers looked at more than 750 prostate cancer patients who had surgery to remove their prostate and surrounding tissue.
Patients who eventually died from prostate cancer were 50 percent more likely to be overweight or obese at the time of diagnosis than those who did not die from the disease. The association between overweight/obesity and increased risk of death was highest among men with more aggressive types of prostate cancer.
The study was published recently in the journal Obesity Research & Clinical Practice.
"We found among patients undergoing surgical treatment for prostate cancer, weight at time of diagnosis is more strongly correlated with prostate cancer survival than many other factors researchers have studied in the past, including some prostate cancer treatments," study lead author Reina Haque, a researcher at Kaiser Permanente Southern California, said in a Kaiser news release.
The study found an association between being overweight when diagnosed with prostate cancer and a higher risk of death, but it did not prove cause-and-effect.
"Moving forward, we are hoping future studies will examine the effect of weight loss and other lifestyle modifications on prostate cancer mortality," Haque said.
Additional studies are needed to determine if the study findings also apply to prostate cancer patients who have other treatments, such as radiation or hormone therapy, the researchers said.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about prostate cancer.