Tall men are at a higher risk of having aggressive prostate cancer, a new large scale study suggests.

Prostate cancer begins when cells in the prostate gland start to grow uncontrollably.

The study analysed data from 141, 896 men from eight different countries.

The research team found that while being tall did not increase the overall risk of getting prostate cancer, it did heighten the risk of high grade tumors that spread more quickly.

According to the scientists, there was a 13% higher risk of high grade tumours for every 10cm increase in men’s waist circumference, while the risk of dying from prostate cancer was 18% higher for each additional 10cm.

The scientists however say that increased height was not associated with overall risk of contracting prostate cancer, just the aggressive forms of the disease.

It was also found that men with higher body mass index and waist conference were at greater risk of being diagnosed than those with a lower body mass index.

“The finding of high risk in taller men may provide insights into the mechanisms underlying prostate cancer development – for example, related to early nutrition and growth,” said Aurora Pérez-Cornago, the lead researcher from Oxford University.

“We also found that a healthy body weight is associated with a reduced risk of high-grade prostate cancer and death from prostate cancer years later.”

The research has been published in BMC Medicine.

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