Scientists found males with the biggest waistlines have a 35 percent higher risk of developing the killer disease. The research, involving more than 200,000 British men, revealed the link between the concentration of body fat around the belly and waist and the risk of prostate cancer death. It is the second most common cause of cancer-specific fatalities among men in the UK.
The disease affects one in six, causing more than a quarter of all new male cancer cases, and almost 12,000 annual UK deaths.
Some evidence suggests a relationship between the amount of body fat and likelihood of dying from prostate cancer.
But scientists said more research was needed to confirm this link.
Conducted by the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at Oxford University and funded by Cancer Research UK, the study aimed to understand how both total body fat and the distribution of fat in the body relate to fatal prostate cancer numbers.
The team selected 218,225 men who were free from cancer at the start date. Their health was watched for nearly 11 years.
During the follow-up period 571 men died from prostate cancer, the researchers discovered.
They also found that while there was no clear link between BMI or total fat percentage with risk, there was a positive relationship between belly fat and the threat of prostate cancer death.
Those in the top 25 percent for waist circumference were 35 percent more likely to die of prostate cancer than men in the bottom 25 per cent.
And those in the top 25 percent for waist-to-hip ratio were 34 percent more likely to die than men in the bottom 25 percent, the study states.
Dr Aurora Perez-Cornago said: “We found a significant association between concentration of body fat around the belly and waist and the risk of prostate cancer death. “But we found no clear association between total body fat and risk of prostate cancer death.
“However, a larger number of cases in this study together with studies in other populations are needed to confirm these findings.
“A high BMI increases the risk of other diseases, including other cancers, so people should consider the implications of excess body fat wherever it is found.”