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    Vitamin D deficiency may raise aggressive prostate cancer odds

    African-American and European-American men at high risk of prostate cancer have greater odds of being diagnosed with an aggressive form of the disease if they have vitamin D deficiency, researchers from Chicago’s Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) reported in a recently published study.

    “Vitamin D deficiency could be a biomarker of advanced prostate tumor progression in large segments of the general population,” said lead study author Adam B. Murphy, MD, of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “More research is needed, but it would be wise for men to be screened for vitamin D deficiency and treated.”

    Results of the study were published in Clinical Cancer Research (2014; 20:2289-99).

    “This is the first study to look at vitamin D deficiency and biopsy outcomes in men at high risk of prostate cancer,” added senior author Rick Kittles, PhD, of UIC. “Previous studies focused on vitamin D levels in men either with or without prostate cancer.”

    The researchers examined data collected from a diverse group of more than 600 men from the Chicago area who had elevated PSA levels or other risk factors for prostate cancer. Each man was screened for vitamin D deficiency before undergoing a prostate biopsy.

    To their surprise, the authors found that vitamin D deficiency seemed to be a predictor of aggressive forms of prostate cancer diagnosis in African-American and European-American men, even after adjusting for potential confounders, including diet, smoking habits, obesity, family history, and calcium intake.

    “These men with severe vitamin D deficiency had greater odds of advanced grade and advanced stage of tumors within or outside the prostate,” Dr. Murphy said.

    European-American men and African-American men had 3.66 times and 4.89 times increased odds of having aggressive prostate cancer, respectively and 2.42 times and 4.22 times increased odds of having tumor stage T2b or higher, respectively.

    Continue to next page for more.

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