Low Sun Exposure and Elevated Serum Prostate Specific Antigen in African American and Caucasian Men

Weinrich, Sally; Ellison, Gary; Weinrich, Martin; Ross, Kevin S.; Reis-Starr, Carol
June 2001
American Journal of Health Studies;2001, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p148
Academic Journal
This study measured the association between sun exposure and abnormal prostate specific antigen. This cross-sectional study was conducted in a community-based cohort of 685 men of whom 48% were African American. Most of the subjects, (85.5%) reported frequent exposure to the sun. Frequent sun exposure provided a 55% reduction in the odds for abnormal prostate specific antigen (PSA) after adjustment for age, education, and income (OR=0.45; 95% Confidence Interval (CI)=0.21-0.97). There were non-significant race differences. Frequent sun exposure among African American men was associated with a 40% reduction in the odds of abnormal PSA (OR = 0.59; 95% CI= 0.20-1.69). In contrast, among Caucasian men, a 68% reduction was observed (OR=0.32; 95% CI=0.10-1.01). Although not significant by race, the magnitude and direction of the observed differences are consistent with an hypothesis of melanin-mediated racial differences in the effects of ultraviolet exposure upon PSA levels. Further studies in African American men and Caucasian men are indicated with more exact measures of ultraviolet exposure, skin color or melanin content, and serum Vitamin D levels.


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