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Cancer. 2013 Apr 1;119(7):1338-43. doi: 10.1002/cncr.27791. Epub 2013 Feb 11.

Association between exercise and primary incidence of prostate cancer: does race matter?

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Duke Prostate Center, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27705, USA.



Exercise is a modifiable lifestyle risk factor associated with prostate cancer risk reduction. However, whether this association is different as a function of race is unclear. In the current study, the authors attempted to characterize the link between exercise and prostate cancer (CaP) in white and black American men.


Using a prospective design, 307 men (164 of whom were white and 143 of whom were black) who were undergoing prostate biopsy completed a self-reported survey that assessed exercise behavior (metabolic equivalent [MET] hours per week). Crude and adjusted logistic regression analyses were used to estimate the risk of prostate cancer controlling for age, body mass index, digital rectal examination findings, previous biopsy, Charlson comorbidity score, and family history of CaP stratified by self-reported race.


There was no significant difference noted with regard to the amount of exercise between racial groups (P = .12). Higher amounts of MET hours per week were associated with a decreased risk of CaP for white men in both crude (P = .02) and adjusted (P = .04) regression models. Among whites, men who exercised ≥ 9 MET hours per week were less likely to have a positive biopsy result compared with men exercising < 9 MET hours per week (odds ratio, 0.47; 95% confidence interval, 0.22-0.99 [P = .047]). There was no association noted between MET hours per week and risk of CaP among black men in both crude (P = .79) and adjusted (P = .76) regression models.


In a prospective cohort of men undergoing biopsy, increased exercise, measured as MET hours per week, was found to be associated with CaP risk reduction among white but not black men. Investigating race-specific mechanisms by which exercise modifies CaP risk and why these mechanisms disfavor black men in particular are warranted.

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