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Prostate. 1997 Dec 1;33(4):240-5.

Heredity and prostate cancer: a study of World War II veteran twins.

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Medical Follow-up Agency, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC 20418, USA.



Increased risk of prostate cancer among men with a family history of the disease has been observed in several epidemiological studies, and family studies have identified hereditary prostate cancer characterized by early onset and autosomal dominant inheritance.


In this study, we examine prostate cancer heritability among twins in the NAS-NRC Twin Registry, with cases ascertained from a number of sources: recent telephone interviews, Medicare and Department of Veterans Affairs hospitalizations, previous mail questionnaires, and death certificates. A total of 1,009 prostate cancer cases were identified among the cohort of 31,848 veteran twins born in the years 1917-1927.


Probandwise concordance for prostate cancer was substantially higher among monozygous twin pairs, 27.1%, than among dizygous twin pairs, 7.1% (P < 0.001).


These data suggest that genetic influences account for approximately 57%, and environmental influences for 43%, of the variability in twin liability for prostate cancer.

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