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Early-Onset Baldness Associated with Prostate Cancer in African-Americans

Among African-American men, baldness is associated with an increased rate of prostate cancer, according to results recently published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and revention.

African-American men have some of the highest rates of prostate cancer in the world. They also tend to be diagnosed with more aggressive and advanced prostate cancers than their European-American counterparts. The reasons for this are not clear; however, researchers continue to explore possibilities for this disparity, as well as ways in which to better screen and prevent for the disease.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania recently evaluated data to determine if there was a relationship between baldness and prostate cancer, as male hormone pathways are associated with both conditions.

The study included 318 African Americans who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and 219 who did not have prostate cancer.

Baldness was associated with a 69% increase in odds for developing prostate cancer.
The odds of developing prostate cancer was further increased among men who had early-onset baldness and/or frontal baldness.
Frontal baldness was associated with a more aggressive and more advanced stage of disease upon diagnosis.
The researchers concluded that baldness is associated with an increase in the odds of developing prostate cancer among African-Americans, particularly those with early-onset and frontal baldness. The authors stated that “Studies are needed to investigate the mechanisms influencing the relationship between baldness and prostate cancer in African-American men.”

Reference: Zeigler-Johnson C, Morales K, Spangler E, et al. Relationship of Early-Onset Baldness to Prostate Cancer in African-American Men. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Published OnlineFirst March 26, 2013; doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-12-0944