Serum vitamin D metabolite levels and the subsequent development of prostate cancer (Hawaii, United States)

Cancer Causes Control. 1998 Aug;9(4):425-32. doi: 10.1023/a:1008875819232.


Objectives: Because several serum studies of vitamin D metabolites have produced equivocal results on their relation to prostate cancer risk, the purpose of this study is to evaluate this association further.

Methods: A nested case-control study in a cohort of 3,737 Japanese-American men examined from 1967 to 1970 was conducted in Hawaii (United States). At the time of examination, a single blood specimen was obtained, and the serum was frozen. After a surveillance period of over 23 years, 136 tissue-confirmed incident cases of prostate cancer were identified. Their stored sera and those of 136 matched controls were measured for the following: 25-hydroxyvitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, and parathyroid hormone.

Results: There were no notable differences between cases and controls in their median serum levels of the five laboratory measurements. Odds ratios (OR) for prostate cancer, based on the quartiles of serum levels in controls, were also determined. The ORs for the highest quartiles relative to the lowest were 0.8 (95 percent confidence interval [CI] = 0.4-1.8) for 25-hydroxyvitamin D and 1.0 (CI = 0.5-2.1) for 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D.

Conclusion: It is possible that the lack of sufficient numbers of study subjects with low vitamin D levels affected the results. Nonetheless, the findings suggest that there is a lack of a strong association between vitamin D and prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Hawaii / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Japan / ethnology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamin D / metabolism


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Vitamin D