Although dietary fat has been associated with prostate cancer risk, the association between specific fatty acids and prostate cancer survival remains unclear.

Dietary intake of 14 fatty acids was analyzed in a population-based cohort of 525 Swedish men with prostate cancer in Örebro County (1989-1994). Multivariable hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for time to prostate cancer death by quartile and per standard deviation increase in intake were estimated by Cox proportional hazards regression. Additional models examined the association by stage at diagnosis (localized: T0-T2/M0; advanced: T0-T4/M1, T3-T4/M0).

Among all men, those with the highest omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid and total marine fatty acid intakes were 40% less likely to die from prostate cancer (P(trend) = 0.05 and 0.04, respectively).

Among men with localized prostate cancer, hazard ratios of 2.07 (95% confidence interval: 0.93, 4.59; P(trend) = 0.03) for elevated total fat, 2.39 (95% confidence interval: 1.06, 5.38) for saturated myristic acid, and 2.88 (95% confidence interval: 1.24, 6.67) for shorter chain (C4-C10) fatty acid intakes demonstrated increased risk for disease-specific mortality for the highest quartile compared with the lowest quartile.

This study suggests that high intake of total fat and certain saturated fatty acids may worsen prostate cancer survival, particularly among men with localized disease.

In contrast, high marine omega-3 fatty acid intake may improve disease-specific survival for all men.