Adult body size, sexual history and adolescent sexual development, may predict risk of developing prostate cancer

results from the New South Wales Lifestyle and Evaluation of Risk Study (CLEAR)

Visalini Nair-Shalliker*, Sarsha Yap, Carlos Nunez, Sam Egger, Jennifer Rodger, Manish I. Patel, Dianne L. O'Connell, Freddy Sitas, Bruce K. Armstrong, David P. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


Prostate cancer (PC) is the most common non-cutaneous cancer in men worldwide. The relationships between PC and possible risk factors for PC cases (n = 1,181) and male controls (n = 875) from the New South Wales (NSW) Cancer, Lifestyle and Evaluation of Risk Study (CLEAR) were examined in this study. The associations between PC risk and paternal history of PC, body mass index (BMI), medical conditions, sexual behaviour, balding pattern and puberty, after adjusting for age, income, region of birth, place of residence, and PSA testing, were examined. Adjusted risk of PC was higher for men with a paternal history of PC (OR = 2.31; 95%CI: 1.70–3.14), personal history of prostatitis (OR = 2.30; 95%CI: 1.44–3.70), benign prostatic hyperplasia (OR = 2.29; 95%CI: 1.79–2.93), being overweight (vs. normal; OR = 1.24; 95%CI: 0.99–1.55) or obese (vs. normal; OR = 1.44; 95%CI: 1.09–1.89), having reported more than seven sexual partners in a lifetime (vs. < 3 partners; OR = 2.00; 95%CI: 1.49–2.68), and having reported more than 5 orgasms a month prior to PC diagnosis (vs. ≤3 orgasms; OR = 1.59; 95%CI: 1.18–2.15). PC risk was lower for men whose timing of puberty was later than their peers (vs. same as peers; OR = 0.75; 95%CI: 0.59–0.97), and a smaller risk reduction of was observed in men whose timing of puberty was earlier than their peers (vs. same as peers; OR = 0.85; 95%CI: 0.61–1.17). No associations were found between PC risk and vertex balding, erectile function, acne, circumcision, vasectomy, asthma or diabetes. These results support a role for adult body size, sexual activity, and adolescent sexual development in PC development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-574
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017



  • prostate cancer
  • puberty
  • balding
  • obesity
  • sexual activity

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