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Genetics may predict why calcium increases risk for prostate cancer
Date:9/16/2011

A study led by University of Southern California (USC) epidemiologists suggests that a high intake of calcium causes prostate cancer among African-American men who are genetically good absorbers of the mineral.

"High dietary intake of calcium has long been linked to prostate cancer and this study suggests that these associations are likely to be causal," said Sue Ann Ingles, Dr.P.H., associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and principal investigator of the study. "At this point, however, we're not in a position to make any public health recommendations."

Ingles and colleagues at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and the Cancer Prevention Institute of California studied 783 African-American men living in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas, 533 of whom were diagnosed with prostate cancer. They studied the effects of genotype, calcium intake and diet-gene interactions.

The study is one of the few to explore genes related to calcium absorption or to examine diet in a large African-American population. Although prostate cancer is 36 percent more common among African-Americans than in non-Hispanic whites, data on the diet-cancer link primarily comes from Caucasian populations. The team targeted a genetic allele that is more common in populations of African origin than in other populations and which is associated with regulating the absorption of calcium.

In the United States, more than 240,000 men are diagnosed annually with prostate cancer and about 33,720 die from the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute. Only lung cancer kills more American men. According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, there are no proven strategies for preventing the disease, but changes in diet and lifestyle have shown to reduce the risk of disease progression.

The paper, published online by the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research in September, found that men who reported the h
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Contact: Alison Trinidad
alison.trinidad@usc.edu
323-442-3941
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert

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