Men who have too much calcium in their bloodstreams may have an increased risk of fatal prostate cancer, according to a new analysis from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and the University of Wisconsin.
“We show that men in upper range of the normal distribution of serum calcium subsequently have an almost three-fold increased risk for fatal prostate cancer,” said Gary G. Schwartz, Ph.D., associate professor of cancer biology and of epidemiology and prevention at Wake Forest. Such excess calcium can be lowered, he said.
Co-author Halcyon G. Skinner of the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Wisconsin stressed there is “little relationship between calcium in the diet and calcium in serum. So men needn’t be concerned about reducing their ordinary dietary intakes of calcium.”
Schwartz and Skinner analyzed the results of 2,814 men who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES-1). Measurement of the amount of calcium in the bloodstreams was determined an average of 9.9 years before prostate cancer was diagnosed.
The researchers focused on the 85 cases of prostate cancer and 25 prostate cancer deaths among the 2,814 men and divided the group into thirds, based on the serum calcium level.
“Comparing men in the top third with men in the bottom third, we found a significantly increased hazard for fatal prostate cancer.
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