In the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, researchers report on more than 300 African-American men with prostate cancer and more than 200 control cases, who participated in the Study of Clinical Outcomes, Risk and Ethnicity between 1998 and 2010. The men had either a full head of hair or frontal or vertex (crown) baldness.
“We focused on African-American men because they are at high risk for developing prostate cancer and are more than twice as likely to die from prostate cancer than other groups in the United States,” said Charnita Zeigler-Johnson, Ph.D., research assistant professor at the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, in a press release. “Although this is a high-risk group for poor prostate cancer outcomes, no published study had focused on evaluating baldness as a potential risk factor in a sample of African-American men.”
Researchers found a 69 percent increased risk of prostate cancer among the men with any form of baldness. Risk for advanced prostate cancer diagnosis more than doubled in men with frontal baldness, an association that was even stronger among African-American men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 60.
“Early-onset baldness may be a risk factor for early-onset prostate cancer in African-American men, particularly younger men,” added Zeigler-Johnson. “Pending future studies to confirm our results, there is a potential to use early-onset baldness as a clinical indicator of increased risk for prostate cancer in some populations of men.”
In the United States, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, with higher rates in African-American men, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and it is the second most common cause of death in most American men.
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