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Cancer Causes Control. 2002 Apr;13(3):271-7.

Jewish ethnicity and prostate cancer mortality in two large US cohorts.

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Department of Epidemiology and Surveillance Research, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA 30329-4251, USA.



To investigate prospectively the relationship between Jewish ethnicity and prostate cancer mortality.


Men were selected from white male participants in two large American Cancer Society cohorts: Cancer Prevention Studies I (CPS-I) (enrolled in 1959 and followed through 1972) and II (CPS-II) (enrolled in 1982 and followed through 1996). During the follow-up periods there were 1,751 prostate cancer deaths among 417,018 men in CPS-1 and 3594 deaths among 447,780 men in CPS-II. Cox proportional hazards modeling was used to compute rate ratios (RR) and to adjust for known and suspected risk factors for prostate cancer.


Prostate cancer death rates were substantially lower among Jewish men than other white men in both cohorts (multivariate adjusted rate ratios (RR) = 0.54, 95% CI = 0.38-0.77 in CPS-I; RR = 0.72, 95% CI = 0.61-0.86 in CPS-II). Factors such as tobacco avoidance and measured dietary patterns did not account for this difference. Lower prostate cancer death rates were observed among Jewish men regardless of place of birth of the participants or their parents.


Prostate cancer death rates are lower among Jewish men in the US and in Israel than among non-Jewish US white men. This may reflect persistent differences in unknown environmental risk factors or possible genetic susceptibility.

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