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Britain's authoritative medical journal The Lancet called Friday for an investigation into new studies that suggest men who undergo a vasectomy are more likely to develop prostate cancer.

An editorial said U.S. researchers who studied 220 men suffering from prostate cancer found 10 percent had had a vasectomy, compared with only 2 to 3 percent of a large group of men hospitalized for other reasons.Adjustment for factors such as smoking, alcohol use and marital status did not alter the results.

A second U.S. study also found a higher rate of prostate cancer among men who had had a vasectomy.

The Lancet said it was too early to conclude that vasectomy was one of the causes of prostate cancer, which kills 8,000 men a year in England and Wales.