International comparisons of prostate cancer mortality rates with dietary practices and sunlight levels

Urol Oncol. May-Jun 2006;24(3):184-94. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2005.05.023.


Prostate cancer mortality rates vary widely across the world. The purpose of this study is to identify environmental factors associated with prostate cancer mortality risk. Prostate cancer mortality rates in 71 countries were compared to per capita food intake rates using age-adjusted cancer rates (year 2000) from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and food consumption data (1990-1992) provided by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. Simple regression models were applied to prostate cancer mortality rates and consumption rates for 38 foods (or food categories), and sunlight levels (latitude from the equator and ultraviolet indexes). The analysis found a correlation between increased prostate cancer mortality rates and the consumption of total animal calories, total animal fat calories, meat, animal fat, milk, sugar, alcoholic beverages, and stimulants. The consumption of cereal grains and rice, in particular, correlated strongly with decreasing prostate cancer mortality. The analysis found that increased sunlight levels and consumption of oilseeds, soybeans, and onions also correlate with decreased prostate cancer mortality risk. Stepwise multiple regression analysis was used to build a regression model with minimum colinearity between the variables. Cereals, total animal fat calories, sugar, and onions are the foods that resulted in a model with the best fit. Cereals, ultraviolet index, sugar, and onions were the variables found to provide the best fit in a model when ambient sunlight exposure was included as a factor.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • International Agencies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Sunlight*
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors