A recently released meta-analysis study published in Scientific Reports suggests that men with hypertension may have an increased risk of prostate cancer (PCa).
“This study ties together the potential increased risk men face when diagnosed with hypertension and the prospect of developing prostate cancer,” said Dr. David Samadi. “It should make all men much more aware and vigilant in trying to normalize their blood pressure as one more means of possibly reducing the risk of this deadly disease.”
Prostate cancer continues to be the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men across the world with 1,111,700 new cases and 307,500 deaths that occurred in 2012. Depending on where a man lives determines PCa rates. There is a greater prevalence of PCa in Western countries such as the United States and Western Europe. Asian countries such as China and Japan have fewer incidences of the disease.
This meta-analysis involved a detailed literature search of researching the association between hypertension and PCa risk. The data came from 21 observational studies, including 17 cohort case-control studies and 4 case-control studies.
Results from this meta-analysis showed that men with hypertension had a significant 8% increased risk of PCa. This is in agreement with a previous meta-analysis study which indicated that hypertension was associated with a significant 15% greater risk of prostate cancer.
It is not clear at this time of what the exact mechanisms are involved in the positive association between hypertension and prostate cancer. One theory is that hypertension could increase the risk of PCa by the activity of the sympathetic nervous system leading to androgen-mediated stimulation of PCa cell growth. Another study using animal models suggested that hypertension resulted in abnormal proliferation and a defective growth stimulatory-inhibitory control.
It is known there can be many contributing factors leading to an increased development of PCa. These include age, race/ethnicity, obesity, poor diet, lack of physical activity and family history.
“Fortunately there are many lifestyle changes a man can make to bring his blood pressure down,” suggested Dr. Samadi. “They can reduce sodium intake by choosing more fruits and vegetables, increase exercise, don’t smoke, lose some weight which can all add up to reducing hypertension. When men know that developing or having hypertension could possibly increase their risk of prostate cancer, this could be the catalyst motivating them to make healthy lifestyle choices to reduce their blood pressure and their chance of being diagnosed with this common cancer in men. It is also important all men have at least an annual checkup where their blood pressure is taken and he is aware of his numbers.”