Prostate cancer: high cholesterol, triglycerides may raise recurrence risk

10 Oct 2014

According to a new study, survivors of prostate cancer with higher levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides had an increased risk for disease recurrence. Since statins also seem to reduce recurrence, researchers now have more support on preventing it.


Study with 843 patients

The researchers conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of 843 radical prostatectomy patients who never used statins before surgery. The association between cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density liproprotein (HDL), and triglycerides and biochemical recurrence risk was investigated. In a secondary analysis, the researchers investigated these associations in patients with a condition called dyslipidemia (which means having an abnormal lipid profile).

35% increased risk of recurrence in patients with high triglyceride levels

Of the 843 men studied, 343 were African American, 325 had abnormal cholesterol levels, 263 had abnormal triglyceride levels, and 293 had a biochemical recurrence, defined as rising PSA levels after prostate cancer treatment, indicating the recurrence of the patient’s prostate cancer.

The researchers found that:

  • Those study participants who had serum triglyceride levels of 150 mg/dL or higher had a 35% increased risk of prostate cancer recurrence, compared with patients who had normal levels of triglycerides.
  • Among those with an abnormal blood lipid profile, for every 10-mg/dL increase in total serum cholesterol above 200 mg/dL, there was a 9% increased risk of prostate cancer recurrence.
  • For every 10-mg/dL increase in HDL among men with abnormal HDL (below the desirable value of 40 mg/dL), the risk of disease recurrence was reduced by 39%.

Understanding these factors can have a great impact

“Given that 45% of deaths worldwide can be attributed to cardiovascular disease and cancer, with prostate cancer being the second most common cause of male cancer deaths in the United States, understanding the role of dyslipidemia as a shared, modifiable risk factor for both of these common causes of mortality is of great importance,” Emma Allott, PhD, a Postdoctoral Associate at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina, said in a statement.


Source: Cancer Research UK

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