Dietary patterns that are associated with inflammation and insulimenia — a condition marked by high levels of insulin in the blood — may put men at an increased risk for aggressive forms of prostate cancer, according to new research led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The study, published Jan. 6 in European Urology, analyzed the dietary patterns of more than 41,000 men over a 28-year period. The findings showed that a hyperinsulinemic dietary pattern was associated with a 7 percent higher risk of advanced prostate cancer and a 9 percent higher risk of fatal prostate cancer. The study also showed that a dietary pattern associated with inflammation was associated with earlier-onset lethal prostate cancer.

Benjamin Fu, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Chan School and first author of the study, noted in a Jan. 12 Renal & Urology News article that avoiding dietary patterns with insulinemic or inflammatory potential help prevent prostate cancer, especially among younger men. An insulinemic dietary pattern may include foods such as sugary sweets and fried foods. A dietary pattern associated with inflammation could include processed meats, refined grains, and lower intake of leafy vegetables.

Other Harvard Chan School authors of the study included Lorelei Mucci, Ed Giovannucci, Fred Tabung, Claire Pernar, Weike Wang, Amparo Gonzalez-Feliciano, Ilkania Chowdhury-Paulino, and Mingyang Song.

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