Cardiologist, author, and heart health expert Dr. Sarah Samaan offers advice on how to live a heart smart life.See all posts »
Protect Your Heart, Protect Your Prostate?
Duke researchers discover a connection between heart health and prostate health
Heart disease kills ten times as many men as prostate cancer, yet polls consistently show that it is cancer that men fear the most. New research from Duke University suggests that a lifestyle that supports heart health may also provide protection against prostate cancer, giving men new reasons to commit to a heart smart diet and regular exercise.
In the study, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, over 6,000 men without prostate cancer were evaluated and followed over the course of 4 years. Amongst those who were known to have heart disease, the risk of developing prostate cancer was 35 percent higher than men without heart disease.
Not surprisingly, the men who had heart disease were more likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol. Exactly which of these factors might be most important in the development of prostate cancer was not clear from this study.
Although the causes and contributors to prostate and other cancers, dementia, and cardiovascular disease are complicated and not always predictable, we have more power over our health than we may believe. To achieve optimum health, it makes good sense to choose a heart smart diet, exercise regularly, and learn to manage the stress that life throws our way.
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