Association between serum 25-hydroxy-vitamin D and aggressive prostate cancer in African American men

Shakira M. Nelson, Ken Batai, Chiledum Ahaghotu, Tanya Agurs-Collins, Rick A. Kittles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


African American men have higher incidence rates of aggressive prostate cancer, where high levels of calcium and serum vitamin D deficient levels play a role in the racial differences in incidence. In this study, we examined associations of serum vitamin D with aggressive prostate cancer to improve our understanding of higher susceptibility of aggressive disease in this racial cohort. From Howard University Hospital, 155 African American men with clinically-identified prostate cancer were identified, 46 aggressive cases, and 58 non-aggressive cases. Serum vitamin D was assessed from fasting blood samples, and total calcium intake was assessed using the Block Food Frequency Questionnaire. Vitamin D receptor polymorphisms from three different loci were genotyped, rs731236, rs1544410, and rs11568820. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to determine odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) comparing aggressive to non-aggressive prostate cancer. Vitamin D deficiency (<20 ng/mL) significantly increased risk of aggressive disease (OR: 3.1, 95% CI: 1.03-9.57, p-value = 0.04). Stratification by total calcium showed high calcium levels (≥800 mg/day) modified this association (OR: 7.3, 95% CI: 2.15-47.68, p-interaction = 0.03). Genetic variant rs11568820 appeared to increase the magnitude of association between deficient serum vitamin D and aggressive prostate cancer (OR: 3.64, 95% CI: 1.12-11.75, p-value = 0.05). These findings suggest that high incidence of aggressive prostate cancer risk in African American men may be due in-part to deficient levels of serum vitamin D. Other factors, including genetics, should be considered for future studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2017


  • African American men
  • Aggressive prostate cancer
  • Calcium
  • Rs11568820
  • Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D
  • Vitamin D receptor small nucleotide polymorphisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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