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.