With the increasing incidence of prostate cancer, identifying common genetic variants that confer risk of the disease is important. Here we report such a variant on chromosome 8q24, a region initially identified through a study of Icelandic families. Allele -8 of the microsatellite DG8S737 was associated with prostate cancer in three case-control series of European ancestry from Iceland, Sweden and the US. The estimated odds ratio (OR) of the allele is 1.62 (P = 2.7 x 10(-11)). About 19% of affected men and 13% of the general population carry at least one copy, yielding a population attributable risk (PAR) of approximately 8%. The association was also replicated in an African American case-control group with a similar OR, in which 41% of affected individuals and 30% of the population are carriers. This leads to a greater estimated PAR (16%) that may contribute to higher incidence of prostate cancer in African American men than in men of European ancestry.