Smoking and Risk of Prostate Cancer and Prostate Cancer Death: A Pooled Study

Sylvia H J Jochems, Josef Fritz, Christel Häggström, Bengt Järvholm, Pär Stattin, Tanja Stocks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Prospective and detailed investigations of smoking and prostate cancer (PCa) risk and death are lacking.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate prediagnosis smoking habit (status, intensity, duration, and cessation) as a risk factor, on its own and combined with body mass index (BMI), for PCa incidence and death.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: We included 351448 men with smoking information from five Swedish cohorts.

OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: We used Cox regression to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and confidence intervals (CIs) for PCa incidence (n = 24731) and death (n = 4322).

RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: Smoking was associated with a lower risk of any PCa (HR 0.89, 95% CI 0.86-0.92), which was most pronounced for low-risk PCa (HR 0.74, 95% CI 0.69-0.79) and was restricted to PCa cases diagnosed in the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) era. Smoking was associated with a higher risk of PCa death in the full cohort (HR 1.10, 95% CI 1.02-1.18) and in case-only analysis adjusted for clinical characteristics (HR 1.20, 95% CI 1.11-1.31), which was a consistent finding across case groups (p = 0.8 for heterogeneity). Associations by smoking intensity and, to lesser degree, smoking duration and cessation, supported the associations for smoking status. Smoking in combination with obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m2) further decreased the risk of low-risk PCa incidence (HR 0.40, 95% CI 0.30-0.53 compared to never smokers with BMI <25 kg/m2) and further increased the risk of PCa death (HR 1.49, 95% CI 1.21-1.84). A limitation of the study is that only a subgroup of men had information on smoking habit around the time of their PCa diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS: The lower PCa risk for smokers in the PSA era, particularly for low-risk PCa, can probably be attributed to low uptake of PSA testing by smokers. Poor survival for smokers, particularly obese smokers, requires further study to clarify the underlying causes and the preventive potential of smoking intervention for PCa death.

PATIENT SUMMARY: Smokers have a higher risk of dying from prostate cancer, which further increases with obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-431
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number5
Early online date2022 May 4
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
  • Cancer and Oncology
  • Urology and Nephrology


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