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Am J Epidemiol. 2007 Dec 1;166(11):1270-9. Epub 2007 Oct 12.

Calcium, dairy foods, and risk of incident and fatal prostate cancer: the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study.

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Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20852, USA.


Calcium and dairy foods in relation to prostate cancer were examined in the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-AARP (formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons) Diet and Health Study (1995/1996-2001). Diet was assessed with a food frequency questionnaire at baseline. Multivariate relative risks and 95% confidence intervals were estimated by Cox regression. During up to 6 years of follow-up (n = 293,888), the authors identified 10,180 total prostate cancer cases (8,754 nonadvanced, 1,426 advanced, and 178 fatal cases). Total and supplemental calcium were unrelated to total and nonadvanced prostate cancer. However, a statistically nonsignificant positive association with total calcium was observed for advanced (> or = 2,000 vs. 500-<750 mg/day: relative risk (RR) = 1.25, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.91, 1.71; p(trend) = 0.06) and fatal (> or = 1,000 vs. 500-<750 mg/day: RR = 1.39, 95% CI: 0.92, 2.09; p(trend) = 0.10) prostate cancer. Skim milk, but not other dairy foods, was associated with increased risk of advanced prostate cancer (> or = 2 vs. zero servings/day: RR = 1.23, 95% CI: 0.99, 1.54; p(trend) = 0.01). In contrast, calcium from nondairy foods was associated with lower risk of nonadvanced prostate cancer (> or = 600 vs. < 250 mg/day: RR = 0.82, 95% CI: 0.68, 0.99; p(trend) = 0.04). Although the authors cannot definitively rule out a weak association for aggressive prostate cancer, their findings do not provide strong support for the hypothesis that calcium and dairy foods increase prostate cancer risk.

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