(HealthDay News) — The larger a man, the greater his risk of developing and dying from aggressive prostate cancer, according to a study published online July 13 in BMC Medicine.

Aurora Perez-Cornago, Ph.D., 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 eight European countries who participated in a large-scale study of cancer and nutrition. Among these men, 7,024 developed prostate cancer during an average 14 years of follow-up, including 726 diagnosed with high-grade cancer and 1,388 with advanced-stage cancer. Of those diagnosed, 934 died from their cancer.

Every additional 4 inches of height was associated with a 21 percent increase in risk of being diagnosed with high-grade prostate cancer, and a 17 percent 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 percent increased risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer and an 18 percent 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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