Saturday, March 3, 2012

Is There A Link Between Heart Disease And Prostate Cancer?

The better question is - Is there an association or common cause between coronary artery disease and prostate cancer?

This is the question that is being studied by a Duke University research team.

The Duke team studied data from 6,390 men participating in a study to determine if a drug called dutasteride reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Of these men, 547 reported a history of coronary artery disease.

This group of men with a history of coronary artery disease -

"...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..."
Interestingly, the review of study's data showed that

"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."

The results suggest that the common link between these two disease may be lifestyle choices. If this is true, changing our lifestyle not only improves our heart health, but it may also improve our prostate health. I wouldn't be surprised if other cancers, such as breast cancer, may also be influenced by our lifestyle choices.

Some of the ways that we can reduce our risks of coronary artery disease and prostate cancer are:
  • Eat a Mediterranean type of diet, which means eating more vegetables, fruits, fish and whole grains.
  • Stay physically active and follow a moderate-intensity exercise program 30-minutes each day at least 5 days a week.
  • Loose excess weight.
  • Manage your stress levels.
  • Stay away from saturated and trans fats, and eat more essential fats that can be found in cold water fish, flax seeds, nuts and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Drink no more than one serving of alcohol per day for women, and 2 servings of alcohol per day for most men. Click here for the definition of a serving of alcohol.
For more information on how to properly maintain your health and fitness, see "Getting Healthy" by the American Heart Association.


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