Lack of vitamin D ‘linked to prostate cancer’

1 May 2014

A vitamin D deficiency is linked to an aggressive form of prostate cancer in African-American and European-American men, according to research from Northwestern Medicine and University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).

Adam B. Murphy, lead author of the study, said: "Vitamin D deficiency could be a biomarker of advanced prostate tumor progression in large segments of the general population.

"More research is needed, but it would be wise for men to be screened for vitamin D deficiency and treated."

Researchers examined data from over 600 men from Chicago who had elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels or other risk factors for prostate cancer. Each participant was screened for a vitamin D deficiency before undergoing a biopsy.

The team were surprised to find that it appeared to be a predictor of aggressive forms of the disease in specific ethnicity groups.

European-American men and African-American men with a deficiency were 3.66 times and 4.89 times more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer respectively and had 2.42 times and 4.22 times increased odds of having tumor stage T2b or higher, respectively.

Mr Murphy added: “Unless it is severe, vitamin D deficiency is fairly asymptomatic, so more effort needs to be put on screening.”

Posted by Philip Briggs

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