Serum selenium levels and prostate cancer risk: A MOOSE-compliant meta-analysis

Medicine (Baltimore). 2017 Feb;96(5):e5944. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000005944.


Some observational studies have shown that elevated serum selenium levels are associated with reduced prostate cancer risk; however, not all published studies support these results. A literature search of PubMed, Embase, Medline, and the Cochrane Library up until September 2016 identified 17 studies suitable for further investigation. A meta-analysis was conducted on these studies to investigate the association between serum selenium levels and subsequent prostate cancer risk. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to evaluate the overall OR of prostate cancer for the highest versus the lowest levels of serum selenium. We found a pooled OR (95% CI) of 0.76 (0.64, 0.91; P < 0.05). In subgroup analysis, an inverse association between serum selenium levels and prostate cancer risk was found in each of case-control studies, current and former smokers, high-grade cancer cases, advanced cancer cases, and different populations. Such correlations were not found for subgroups containing each of cohort studies, nonsmokers, low-grade cancer cases, and early stage cancer cases. In conclusion, our study suggests an inverse relationship between serum selenium levels and prostate cancer risk. However, further cohort studies and randomized control trials based on non-Western populations are required.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Selenium / blood*
  • Smoking / epidemiology


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Selenium