Established risk factors for prostate cancer have not translated to effective prevention or adjuvant care strategies. Several epidemiologic studies suggest greater body adiposity may be a modifiable risk factor for high-grade (Gleason 7, Gleason 8-10) prostate cancer and prostate cancer mortality. However, BMI only approximates body adiposity, and may be confounded by centralized fat deposition or lean body mass in older men. Our objective was to use bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA) to measure body composition and determine the association between prostate cancer and total body fat mass (FM) fat-free mass (FFM), and percent body fat (%BF), and which body composition measure mediated the association between BMI or waist circumference (WC) with prostate cancer.
Our results suggest that associations between BMI and WC with high-grade prostate cancer are mediated through the measurement of total body FFM. It is unlikely that FFM causes prostate cancer, but instead provides a marker of testosterone and IGF1 activities involved with retaining lean mass as men age.