Sex steroid hormones in young manhood and the risk of subsequent prostate cancer: a longitudinal study in African-Americans and Caucasians (United States)

Cancer Causes Control. 2006 Dec;17(10):1237-44. doi: 10.1007/s10552-006-0052-4.


Objective: To investigate the relation of sex hormone levels in young adults to subsequent prostate cancer risk.

Methods: From 1959 to 1967, the Child Health and Development Studies collected sera from 10,442 men (median age: 34 years) and followed them for a median of 32 years. In this analysis, we selected 119 African-Americans and 206 Caucasians diagnosed with prostate cancer during the follow-up period. Two prostate cancer-free men were chosen to match each prostate cancer case on race and birth year. We compared the levels of testosterone, estradiol, and sex hormone-binding globulin in cases to those of their matched controls using conditional logistic regression.

Results: There was no significant association between absolute levels of sex hormones in youth and prostate cancer risk in either race. However, among Caucasians, but not African-Americans, prostate cancer risk was positively associated with the ratio of total testosterone to total estradiol (odds ratio relating the fourth to the first quartile: 3.01; 95% confidence interval: 1.42-6.39).

Conclusions: The association between testosterone to estradiol ratio and prostate cancer risk in young Caucasians is consistent with similar findings in older Caucasians. The absence of this association in African-Americans needs confirmation in other data involving larger numbers of African-Americans.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Black or African American*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / blood*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • United States
  • White People*


  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones