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BACKGROUND: The associations of adiposity with aggressive prostate cancer risk are unclear. Using two-sample Mendelian randomization, we assessed the association of metabolically unfavourable adiposity (UFA), favourable adiposity (FA) and for comparison body mass index (BMI), with prostate cancer, including aggressive prostate cancer. METHODS: We examined the association of these genetically predicted adiposity-related traits with risk of prostate cancer overall, aggressive and early onset disease using outcome summary statistics from the PRACTICAL consortium (including 15,167 aggressive cases). RESULTS: In inverse-variance weighted models, there was little evidence that genetically predicted one standard deviation higher UFA, FA and BMI were associated with aggressive prostate cancer [OR: 0.85 (95% CI:0.61-1.19), 0.80 (0.53-1.23) and 0.97 (0.88-1.08), respectively]; these associations were largely consistent in sensitivity analyses accounting for horizontal pleiotropy. There was no strong evidence that genetically determined UFA, FA or BMI were associated with overall prostate cancer or early age of onset prostate cancer. CONCLUSIONS: We did not find differences in the associations of UFA and FA with prostate cancer risk, which suggest that adiposity is unlikely to influence prostate cancer via the metabolic factors assessed; however, these did not cover some aspects related to metabolic health that may link obesity with aggressive prostate cancer, which should be explored in future studies.

Original publication




Journal article


Cancer Med

Publication Date





16482 - 16489


Mendelian randomization, adiposity, advanced disease, prostate cancer, Male, Humans, Adiposity, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Mendelian Randomization Analysis, Obesity, Body Mass Index, Prostatic Neoplasms, Genome-Wide Association Study, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide