- Men who had never had sex were 47 per cent less likely to develop the disease
- Prostate cancer is most common cancer among men in UK, with 1 in 8 diagnosed
- Likelihood jumps up to 1 in 16 for virgins, Oxford University researchers suggest
- For study, scientists compiled data from 220,000 men aged between 40 and 69
Middle-aged virgins have half the risk of getting prostate cancer when compared to men who are sexually active, a new study has suggested.
Researchers found that men who had never experienced sexual intercourse were 47 per cent less likely to develop the disease.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the UK, with one in eight being diagnosed in their lifetime.
However that likelihood jumps up to almost one in 16 for virgins, according to the study carried out by Oxford University researchers.
Steve Carrell (pictured with Jane Lynch) starred as Andy Stitzer in the hit 2005 film The 40 Year Old Virgin
As part of the study, scientists compiled data from 220,000 men aged between 40 and 69.
Professor Tim Key told The Sun: ‘Infections passed during sex, raising prostate cancer risk, could be a possibility.
‘Low testosterone levels is also a possible explanation. We know it is a protective factor against prostate cancer.
‘And as it is a sex hormone, it may explain why these men are less interested in sex.’
He also suggested that the reduced levels of testosterone in virgins may have contributed to the lower levels of diagnosis.