Low Cholesterol Lowers Risk for Aggressive Prostate Cancer

But men's overall risk for prostate tumors remains the same, study finds

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THURSDAY, Nov. 16, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Men with low blood cholesterol levels are at lowered risk of high-grade and possibly advanced prostate cancer, researchers report.

Lower cholesterol does not lower a man's overall risk for prostrate cancer, however, concludes a U.S. study presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, in Boston.

Previously, the researchers found that men who used cholesterol-lowering statin drugs were about 50 percent less likely to have advanced prostate cancer. It's known that cholesterol plays a role in a number of factors that can influence the start of cancer.

In this new study, researchers at Johns Hopkins University and elsewhere investigated whether a low plasma cholesterol level is associated with lower prostate cancer risk overall. They also examined the link between plasma cholesterol level and stage and grade of prostate cancer.

The study included 698 men with prostate cancer and 698 prostate cancer-free men in a control group. The team measured each man's plasma concentration of total cholesterol.

"Men with low plasma cholesterol had a lower risk of high-grade and possibly advanced prostate cancer, but not prostate cancer overall," the researchers wrote.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about prostate cancer.

SOURCE: American Association for Cancer Research, news release, Nov. 15, 2006

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