High blood pressure increases a man's risk of dying from prostate cancer, a study has shown.

Researchers found men with the highest blood pressure levels were 62% more likely to die from the disease than those with the lowest.

A weaker association was also seen with obesity and a combination of different factors, including blood sugar and cholesterol.

The Metabolic Syndrome and Cancer (MeCan) project looked at almost 300,000 men from Sweden, Norway and Austria over a period of 12 years to investigate factors influencing prostate cancer incidence and death rates. Of all the participants, 6,673 were diagnosed with prostate cancer and 961 died from the disease.

The scientists assessed a range of risk factors, including high body mass index (BMI), high blood pressure, and high levels of sugar and fats in the blood, collectively known as metabolic syndrome.

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  • How To Lower Your Blood Pressure

    According to the <a href="http://www.who.int/en/" target="_hplink">World Health Organisation</a> (WHO) the eight key risk factors (alcohol use, tobacco use, high blood pressure, high body mass index, high choles terol, high blood glucose, low fruit and vegetable intake, and physical inactivity) account for 61% of all cardiovascular deaths and over three quarters of all coronary heart disease. "Changing your diet and lifestyle can help to achieve a significant drop in your blood pressure levels, whether or not you are taking tablets," says Linda Main, Dietician for <a href="http://www.heartuk.org.uk/" target="_hplink"><strong>HEART UK</strong></a>. Take a look at the simple lifestyle changes you can make today to help lower blood pressure and maintain a healthy heart.

  • Manage Your Weight

    Keep your weight down. If you are overweight losing just 5-10% of your starting weight will help.

  • Be More Active

    Be more physically active. Aim for 30 minutes or more, most days of the week. This doesn't have to mean going to the gym, walking or gardening can count too.

  • Drink Less

    Drink alcohol in moderation. No more than 3 to 4 daily units a day for men and no more than 2 to 3 units for women.

  • Eat Better

    Follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan. Based on research findings which show that a diet low in saturated fat and salt, but high in fruit and vegetables, wholegrain foods and low fat dairy foods, can significantly lower blood pressure within two weeks. It is rich in nutrients such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and fibre.

  • Reduce Salt

    Reduce your salt intake to a maximum of 6 grams a day (a teaspoon). Around 75% of the salt we eat is already in the foods we buy.

Lead researcher Dr Christel Haggstrom, from Umea University, Sweden, said: "Not much is known about the association between these metabolic factors and prostate cancer but the high incidence in Western Europe and North America suggests a link to the lifestyles or environment in developed countries.

"When we looked to see if the metabolic factors are related to an increased risk of getting or dying from prostate cancer we found a relationship with death from the disease and high blood pressure.

"There was also a link to high BMI but blood pressure had the strongest association to increased risk. The results for BMI are in line with previous findings in large studies."

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    A powerful drug proven to stop prostate cancer spreading to other organs could be available by Christmas this year, reports suggest. The Enzalutamide drug, which would be taken once-a-day, has been found to significantly extend the lives of prostate cancer patients by up to 18 months. Drugs company Astellas has submitted an application asking for the permission from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to bring the drug to market. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/06/28/breakthrough-prostate-cancer-drug-coming-soon_n_1634359.html" target="_hplink"><strong>Read the full story here</strong></a>.

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But whether the link is causal or due to coincidence is still unknown. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/06/18/health-could-tea-increase-chance-prostate-cancer_n_1606213.html" target="_hplink"><strong>Read the full story here</strong></a>.

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  • Why 4,000 Men Get Prostate Cancer A Year

    According to the latest figures from Cancer Research UK, the number of men with prostate cancer in the UK has risen to 40,000, compared to just 14,000 two decades earlier in 1989. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/05/04/40000-men-get-prostate-cancer_n_1476825.html" target="_hplink"><strong>Read the full story here</strong></a>.

She added: "I can't speculate on the reasons for the association between having high blood pressure and dying from prostate cancer.

"More research is needed to find out why this is the case but the results add further evidence to the hypothesis that high levels of metabolic factors separately or combined are related to an increased risk of dying from the disease."

The study, published in the American Cancer Society journal Cancer, did not find a link between any of the c factors tested and an increased risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer. But it demonstrated that high blood pressure, high BMI, and a combination of all five factors were associated with an increase in risk of death.

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Each year around 41,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK and almost 11,000 die from the disease. It is the second most common cause of cancer death after lung cancer.

Dr Rachel Thompson, deputy head of science at the World Cancer Research Fund, which supported the study, said: "This research shows a direct link between metabolic factors and death from prostate cancer and adds to the limited amount of information we have on the effect metabolic syndrome has on cancer."

See also:

Breakthrough Prostate Cancer Drug ‘Could Be Available By Christmas'

Let's Drag Prostate Cancer Into Public Awareness

40,000 Men A Year Get Prostate Cancer