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Ann Epidemiol. 2007 Jul;17(7):498-502. Epub 2007 Apr 19.

Sociodemographic status, stress, and risk of prostate cancer. A prospective cohort study.

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National Institute of Public Health, Copenhagen, Denmark.



The social gradient in prostate cancer incidence observed in several studies may be a result of differential access to prostate cancer screening. We aim to assess if socioeconomic status, stress, and marital status are associated with prostate cancer risk in a population with free access to health care.


The 5,496 men who participated in the Copenhagen City Heart Study were asked about their income, educational level, stress level, and marital status during 1981-1983. These men were prospectively followed up in the Danish Cancer Registry until the end of 2002 and fewer than 0.1 % were lost to follow-up.


During follow-up, 157 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Neither high income (HR = 1.17, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.78-1.76) nor high education (HR = 1.22; 95% CI: 0.76-1.96) were associated with risk of prostate cancer. There were also no differences in prostate cancer risk according to stress (HR = 0.99; 95% CI: 0.90-1.09) or marital status.


In a racially homogeneous population of Caucasians with free access to health care, we found no evidence of a relation between sociodemographic variables or stress and subsequent risk of prostate cancer.

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