A significant correlation between coronary artery disease and prostate cancer has been discovered by researchers at the Duke Cancer Institute in Durham, North Carolina.

The discovery has led scientists to consider the possibility that the two conditions may have shared causes.

The study, which was published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, involved examining data from 6,390 men participating in a prostate drug trial. Of these, 547 had a history of coronary artery disease. The researchers found that having coronary artery disease increased the men’s risk of prostate cancer by 35%, with the risk increasing over time. Also, the men with a history of heart disease were 24% percent more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer within the first two years of the study than those who did not have heart disease. After four years into the study, this group’s prostate cancer risk was 74% higher.