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We investigated the association between metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its components and risk of prostate cancer (PCa) in a cohort of men enrolled in the UK Biobank. Our study cohort included 220 622 PCa-free men with baseline measurements of triglycerides (TGs), HDL-cholesterol (HDL), glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), blood pressure (BP), and waist circumference (WC). Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression was used to analyze associations with PCa for: individual metabolic components (TG, HDL, HbA1c, BP, WC), combinations of two and three components, and MetS overall (three or more components). We conducted mediation analyses to examine potential hormonal and inflammatory pathways (total testosterone [TT], C-reactive protein [CRP], insulin-like growth factor 1 [IGF-1]) through which MetS components may influence PCa risk. A total of 5409 men in the study developed PCa during a median follow-up of 6.9 years. We found no significant association between MetS and PCa risk (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.99, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.92-1.06). No associations were found with PCa risk and individual measurements of TG, HDL, BP, or WC. However, an inverse association was observed with elevated HbA1c (≥42 mmol/mol) (HR = 0.89, 95% CI = 0.79-0.98). Consistent inverse associations were observed between HbA1c and risk of PCa. Mediation analysis revealed TT, CRP, and IGF-1 as potential mediating factors for this association contributing 10.2%, 7.1%, and 7.9% to the total effect, respectively. Overall MetS had no association with PCa risk. However, a consistent inverse association with PCa risk was found for HbA1c. This association may be explained in part through hormonal and inflammatory pathways.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Cancer

Publication Date





825 - 834


glycated hemoglobin, mediation analysis, metabolic syndrome, prostate cancer, Adult, Aged, Biological Specimen Banks, Biomarkers, Blood Pressure, C-Reactive Protein, Cholesterol, HDL, Cohort Studies, Glycated Hemoglobin A, Humans, Male, Metabolic Syndrome, Middle Aged, Proportional Hazards Models, Prostatic Neoplasms, Risk Factors, Surveys and Questionnaires, Testosterone, Triglycerides, United Kingdom, Waist Circumference