Prostate cancer is a common cancer worldwide with no established modifiable lifestyle factors to guide prevention. The associations between polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and prostate cancer risk have been inconsistent. Using Mendelian randomisation, we evaluated associations between PUFAs and prostate cancer risk.We used individual-level data from a consortium of 22 721 cases and 23 034 controls of European ancestry. Externally-weighted PUFA-specific polygenic risk scores (wPRSs), with explanatory variation ranging from 0.65 to 33.07%, were constructed and used to evaluate associations with prostate cancer risk per one standard deviation (s.d.) increase in genetically-predicted plasma PUFA levels using multivariable-adjusted unconditional logistic regression.No overall association was observed between the genetically-predicted PUFAs evaluated in this study and prostate cancer risk. However, risk reductions were observed for short-chain PUFAs, linoleic (ORLA=0.95, 95%CI=0.92, 0.98) and α-linolenic acids (ORALA=0.96, 95%CI=0.93, 0.98), among men <62 years; whereas increased risk was found among men ⩾62 years for LA (ORLA=1.04, 95%CI=1.01, 1.07). For long-chain PUFAs (i.e., arachidonic, eicosapentaenoic, and docosapentaenoic acids), increased risks were observed among men <62 years (ORAA=1.05, 95%CI=1.02, 1.08; OREPA=1.04, 95%CI=1.01, 1.06; ORDPA=1.05, 95%CI=1.02, 1.08).Results from this study suggest that circulating ω-3 and ω-6 PUFAs may have a different role in the aetiology of early- and late-onset prostate cancer.


Journal article


British Journal of Cancer


Cancer Research UK

Publication Date





624 - 631


Division of Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37203, USA.


PRACTICAL consortium