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Blacks have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer than whites, and for obese black men, their risk can quadruple as their weight goes up, a new study indicates.

The findings from this large study should lead to a redoubling of efforts to encourage obesity prevention among black men, said study lead author Wendy Barrington, an assistant professor in the school of nursing at the University of Washington.

“The main ‘take-home’ point for practicing physicians is to recognize that obesity has a different relationship to prostate cancer risk in African-American [men] compared to non-Hispanic white men,” said Barrington.

Why this might be so is “really just speculation at this point,” Barrington noted.

“We did account for many differences that could affect prostate cancer risk, such as access to care, and lifestyle factors, such as diet and physical activity,” she said.

“But it could also be that there’s actually a biological difference between African-American and non-Hispanic white men . . . It’s something for further research,” Barrington added.

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