Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Vitamin D Deficiency Predicts Aggressive Prostate Cancer

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Vitamin D Deficiency Predicts Aggressive Prostate Cancer

Article excerpt


Among African American men with abnormal prostate-specific antigen levels or abnormal findings on digital rectal examination of the prostate, biopsies are more likely to detect prostate cancer in those who have vitamin D deficiency than in those who do not, a report suggests.

And in both American men of European and African descent who have vitamin D deficiency, initial biopsies are more likely to show tumors with high Gleason grade and more advanced clinical stage than are tumor biopsies in men who don't have vitamin D deficiency, reported Dr. Adam B. Murphy of Northwestern University, Chicago, and his coauthors.

Their "novel" findings corroborate "a plethora of in vitro, animal, and clinical data suggesting potential mechanisms for the role of vitamin D in prostate differentiation and tumor progression," the investigators noted.

If vitamin D is involved in prostate cancer initiation or progression, then vitamin D supplements may prove helpful for both primary and secondary prevention, especially in the highest-risk group of African American men, Dr. Murphy and his colleagues said.

The researchers investigated this issue because no prior studies have assessed the association between vitamin D status and prostate biopsy outcomes, even though several have suggested that vitamin D deficiency might explain the disparity between blacks and whites in prostate cancer incidence and survival. 'African American men have lower serum vitamin D levels than their European American and Hispanic counterparts, in part due to lower skin synthesis from the ultraviolet-blocking effects of melanin in the skin," Dr. Murphy and his associates said.

They examined these outcomes in an ethnically diverse population of 667 men residing in Chicago, a city with low ultraviolet light exposure. There were 275 European Americans, 273 African Americans, and 119 men of other ethnicities.

The study participants, aged 40-79 years, were enrolled over a 4-year period from five urology clinics. …

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