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Heart disease may be a risk factor for prostate cancer
Date:2/8/2012

lment history of coronary artery disease. This group of men tended to be older, heavier and less healthy, with higher baseline PSA levels, plus more diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. The men were also much more likely to develop prostate cancer, even after accounting for all the baseline differences.

Having coronary artery disease increased the men's risk of prostate cancer by 35 percent, with the risk rising over time. The group was 24 percent more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer within the first two years of the study than men who reported no heart disease, and by four years into the study, this group's prostate cancer risk was 74 percent higher.

"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."

Stephen Freedland, M.D., associate professor of surgery and pathology in the Division of Urology at Duke and senior author of the paper, said the study had some shortcomings. Notably, it relied on data from a previous trial that didn't account for factors such as diet, physical activity and severity of heart disease that may have influenced the results. But Freedland said the study eliminated a screening bias common in previous findings that correlated prostate cancer and heart disease using men with high PSA levels.

"This is giving us a lot of good ideas for what to look at next," Freedland said, noting that the overlap between prostate cancer and other diseases associated with poor health habits is a focus of his research group.


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Contact: Sarah Avery
sarah.avery@duke.edu
919-660-1306
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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