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J Natl Cancer Inst. 2004 May 5;96(9):696-703.

A prospective study of plasma selenium levels and prostate cancer risk.

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  • 1Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. haojie.li@channing.harvard.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Epidemiologic studies suggest that low selenium levels are associated with an increased incidence of prostate cancer, although results are conflicting. We examined the association between pre-diagnostic plasma selenium levels and risk of prostate cancer in men enrolled in the Physicians' Health Study.

METHODS:

Using plasma samples obtained in 1982 from healthy men enrolled in the study, we conducted a nested case-control study among 586 men diagnosed with prostate cancer during 13 years of follow-up and 577 control subjects. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the risk of prostate cancer in pre- (before October 1990) and post- (after October 1990) prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening eras were calculated using multivariable logistic regression.

RESULTS:

Pre-diagnostic plasma selenium levels were inversely associated with risk of advanced prostate cancer (5th versus 1st quintile OR = 0.52, 95% CI = 0.28 to 0.98; P(trend) =.05), even among men diagnosed after 1990 (5th versus 1st quintile OR = 0.39, 95% CI = 0.16 to 0.97). The inverse association with prostate cancer risk was observed only for case subjects with elevated baseline PSA levels (PSA >4 ng/mL, 5th versus 1st quintile OR = 0.49, 95% CI = 0.28 to 0.86; P(trend) =.002). These inverse associations were observed in both pre- and post-PSA eras.

CONCLUSIONS:

The inverse association between baseline plasma selenium levels and risk of advanced prostate cancer, even among men diagnosed during the post-PSA era, suggests that higher levels of selenium may slow prostate cancer tumor progression. Ongoing randomized trials of selenium supplements may help to further evaluate this issue.

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PMID:
15126606
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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