High calcium levels in bloodstream can treble risk of prostate cancer

Men with high levels of calcium in their bloodstreams have a threefold increased risk of prostate cancer, say US researchers.

Measurements of serum cal-cium were taken from 2,814 men who were followed over 10 years for signs of prostate cancer.

A total of 85 cases of prostate cancer and 25 deaths from prostate cancer were recorded during the study.

The researchers divided the men who developed prostate cancer into three groups based on their serum calcium levels.

Men with the highest calcium levels, 9.9 to 10.5mg/dL, were three times more likely to develop prostate cancer than men with normal calcium levels.

Lead researcher Professor Gary Schwartz, from Wake Forest University in North Carolina, said: 'These results support the hypothesis that high serum calcium, or a factor strongly associated with it such as high serum parathyroid hormone, increases the risk of prostate cancer.'

He stressed that there was little relationship between calcium in the diet and calcium in serum.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

  • Cancer, Epidemiology, Bio-markers and Prevention Online 2008.

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