Objective: High levels of serum cholesterol have been proposed to increase the risk of prostate cancer but the epidemiologic evidence is limited.
Methods: We conducted a hospital-based case-control study in Fargo, ND, USA, to examine the association between hypercholesterolemia and prostate cancer. Cases were men with incident, histologically confirmed prostate cancer. Controls were men without clinical cancer who were seen at the same hospital for an annual physical exam. Demographic and clinical data were abstracted from patients' medical charts.
Results: From a patient population aged 50 to 74 years old, we obtained data on 312 White cases and 319 White controls. Hypercholesterolemia was defined as total cholesterol greater than 5.17 (mmol/l). Univariate logistic regression showed a significant association between hypercholesterolemia and prostate cancer (odds ratio (OR) = 1.64, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.19-2.27). This association changed only slightly after adjustment for age, family history of prostate cancer, body mass index, type 2 diabetes, smoking, and multivitamin use (OR = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.11-2.24). A significant association was found between low HDL and prostate cancer (OR = 1.57, 95% CI: 1.04-2.36). High LDL was associated with a 60% increased risk for prostate cancer (OR = 1.60, 95% CI: 1.09-2.34). Compared to never smokers, current smokers had an 84% increased risk for prostate cancer (OR = 1.84, 95% CI: 1.09-3.13).
Conclusion: This study adds to recent evidence that hypercholesterolemia may increase the risk of prostate cancer in white men.