Use of tanning potential as a predictor for prostate cancer risk in African-American men

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Background/Aim: Vitamin D deficiency in African-Americans is common due to the high melanin content of the skin that reduces the absorption of UV radiation. To determine if there is a correlation between UV exposure, tanning potential and vitamin D with prostate cancer (PC) risk, we conducted a case-control study of 183 African-American men aged 40 years and older residing in the Washington, DC area. Patients and Methods: PC status was described as a binary variable as the presence or absence of cancer and the environmental factors as continuous variables. We used a logistic regression model describing PC as the response, while age, tanning potential, sunlight and vitamin D were treated as the predictors. Results: Men aged 60 years and older had a seven-fold increased risk for developing PC compared to those aged 50 years and less (p<0.003). Tanning potential was a significant (p=0.05) risk factor for PC, while sunlight exposure and vitamin D were not. Tanning potential was also significant (p=0.044) when adjusted for vitamin D and age. However, tanning potential was only marginally significant when adjusted for sunlight exposure (p=0.064) Conclusion: The findings of this study indicate that tanning potential may be a predictor for PC risk in African-American men.

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