Purpose: We characterize the incidence of adenocarcinoma of the prostate among Chinese, Japanese and Filipino immigrants to the United States and their descendants.
Materials and methods: Subjects included 1,511 Asian and 16,000 white residents of Hawaii, San Francisco/Oakland and western Washington diagnosed with primary adenocarcinoma of the prostate during 1973 through 1986, and identified from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results program. The size and composition of the population at risk were provided by a special tabulation of the 1980 United States Census.
Results: Among Asian-Americans 45 to 69 years old the annual rate per 100,000 for Chinese (24.0), Japanese (29.6) and Filipino (56.8) men born in China, Japan and the Philippines, respectively, was approximately half that of United States born Chinese, Japanese and Filipino men (44.4, 42.2 and 111.3, respectively). For Japanese Americans 70 to 84 years old at diagnosis differences in incidence persisted between those born in Japan (238.0) and the United States (446.4), while for older Chinese Americans incidence rates were nearly the same for those born in China (428.3) and the United States (425.0). In contrast, older Filipino men born in the Philippines had a higher rate (400.1) than their United States born counterparts (264.9) but the latter rate was based on a small number of men. Among United States residents the annual incidence for all generations of Asian-Americans was roughly half that of white men born in the United States (215.9).
Conclusions: These results suggest that, irrespective of birthplace or age, Asian-American men retain 1 or more genetic or lifestyle characteristics that make their risk of prostate cancer less than that of white residents of the United States.