Chemicals in medicines, food packaging, toys increase men’s chronic disease risk
*Taller, heavier males more predisposed to developing aggresive prostate cancer
Exposure to chemicals in medicines, food packaging and toys increases men’s risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, new research reveals.
High levels of the chemicals, known as phthalates, in men’s urine is significantly associated with suffering from such chronic diseases, a study found.
It is unclear why phthalates cause disease, however, researchers believe it may be due to their effect on the body’s hormones, which regulate growth, metabolism and development.
Although the study was only conducted in men, the researchers expect similar outcomes to be true for women. Previous research has linked phthalates to hormonal changes, obesity, thyroid abnormalities, and reduced sperm count and mobility.
Scientists from the University of Adelaide and the South Australian and Medical Research Institute analysed 1,504 men aged between 39 and 84 from south Australia.
Their phthalate levels were determined by measuring urine samples collected in the morning before the men had eaten. Chronic disease prevalence was assessed through participant-completed questionnaires, laboratory diagnoses and inflammatory marker tests.
Results revealed a high phthalate exposure is significantly associated with an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
Exposure to the chemicals is not linked to asthma or depression. The results were true even after the researchers adjusted for lifestyle factors that are known to increase the risk of chronic diseases, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and being overweight or obese.
Although the study was only conducted in men, the researchers expect similar outcomes to be true for women. The findings were published in the journal Environmental Research.
Also, according to new study, aggressive prostate cancer risk is greater in men who are taller, heavier, or both, . New research demonstrates that taller men and those who are obese have a higher risk of more aggressive types of prostate cancer. The findings could help to provide fresh insight into how the disease works.
As with other types of cancer, treatments are available, but there are also a great number of questions still to answer about risk factors and disease progression.
Recently, a group of researchers from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom (UK) decided to look at the relationship between height, obesity, and prostate cancer grade.
Previous research looking at the relationship between height, body mass index (BMI), and prostate cancer risk has produced varied results. Some early studies demonstrated an increased risk with BMI but not height, while others were inconclusive for both weight and height.
However, much of the earlier work did not split the data into cancer type. For instance, they did not take into account the stage (how far the tumor has spread) and the grade (how abnormal the tumor cells are). This U.K. research project is one of the first to differentiate between high-grade and advanced stage tumors.
Lead author Dr. Aurora Perez-Cornago and her team reopen the debate and take a fresh look at the relationship in more granular detail.
Data were taken from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, comprising 141,896 men from Denmark, Italy, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the U.K. The average age of the participants was 52.
In all, there were 7,024 incidences of prostate cancer, of which 726 were high-grade and 1,388 were in an advanced stage. There were also 934 deaths caused by prostate cancer.
Once the data had been analyzed, the team concluded that height was not linked with overall prostate cancer risk.
However, risk of high-grade disease and death from prostate cancer was linked to height: risk increased by 21 percent and 17 percent, respectively, with each additional 10 centimeters in height.
Why height might be a factor in prostate cancer is unclear.