Revealed: The surprisingly positive link between asthma and prostate cancer
Elizabeth A Platz, a professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US, led the study.
Platz and her team analysed data from questionnaire responses and medical records belonging to 47,880 men aged between 40 and 75 taking part in the Health Professional Follow-Up Study (HPFS) run by the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in the US.
All of the men were cancer
-free before joining the HPFS in 1986 and researchers followed up with them up until 2012.
Every two years, the men completed questionnaires. Therefore, the researchers’ data set contained ongoing information about participants’ backgrounds, demographics, medication use, medical history and lifestyle.
Researchers consulted the medical records and pathology records of those who reported prostate cancer
diagnosis during the study.
And here’s what they found:
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If you have a history of asthma, you’re 29% less likely to develop prostate cancer
The analysis showed that men with a history of asthma had a 29% lower likelihood of developing prostate cancer.
The analysis also revealed that men with asthma who did get this type of cancer were 36% less likely to die of it. Results remained the same even when researchers accounted for the different types of asthma medication the men were on.
The same can’t be said for hay fever sufferers:
The team also found a link between hay fever and increased prostate cancer risk.
It showed that ifyou suffer from hay fever, you’re 10% to 12% more likely to develop prostate cancer and die of it.
And although the link is weaker, it’s still significant says Platz. (For more about how your allergies can set the stage from cancer, go here
Follow-up research that investigates the immune cells in your prostate is on the way
Platz says the team is currently doing follow-up research that looks at the immune cells in the prostate to determine the reasoning behind their findings.
“We want to see what it is about a particular immune profile or immune environment that might be related to prostate cancer. Especially aggressive prostate cancer,” she explains.
And while having asthma isn’t something you can control to lower your prostate cancer risk, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t things you can do.
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