Calcium, vitamin D, and dairy product intake and prostate cancer risk: the Multiethnic Cohort Study

Am J Epidemiol. 2007 Dec 1;166(11):1259-69. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwm269. Epub 2007 Oct 8.


High intakes of calcium and dairy products have been suggested to be related to prostate cancer risk. Such associations were examined in the Multiethnic Cohort Study (1993-2002) among 82,483 men who completed a detailed quantitative food frequency questionnaire. During a mean follow-up of 8 years, 4,404 total cases of prostate cancer were identified. In Cox proportional hazards models, no association was found between calcium and vitamin D intake and total, advanced, or high-grade prostate cancer risk, whether for total intake, intake from foods, or intake from supplements, among all male participants or among nonusers of supplemental calcium. No association of calcium or vitamin D intake was seen across racial/ethnic groups. In analyses of food groups, dairy product and total milk consumption were not associated with prostate cancer risk. However, low-/nonfat milk was related to an increased risk and whole milk to a decreased risk of total prostate cancer; after stratification, these effects were limited to localized or low-grade tumors. Although the findings from this study do not support an association between the intakes of calcium and vitamin D and prostate cancer risk, they do suggest that an association with milk consumption may vary by fat content, particularly for early forms of this cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Calcium, Dietary / adverse effects*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dairy Products*
  • Humans
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • SEER Program
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin D / adverse effects*


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Vitamin D