Indicators of Sexual and Somatic Development and Adolescent Body Size in Relation to Prostate Cancer Risk: Results From a Case-Control Study Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVES: To examine the relationship between the indicators of sexual and somatic development (ie, age at first shaving and maximal shoe size) and adolescent anthropometric characteristics (ie, body size at age 10 to 13 years) and prostate cancer risk. METHODS: We analyzed the data from a population-based case-control study in Erie and Niagara Counties, New York. The participants were 64 men with incident, primary, histologically confirmed, clinically apparent (Stage B and greater) prostate cancer and 218 controls, who had been frequency matched by age and residential area. Information regarding the variables of interest was self-reported. We compared the adjusted mean age at first shaving and age at maximal shoe size and calculated the odds of body size at ages 10 to 13 years using logistic regression models. RESULTS: The patients showed no evidence of older age at first shaving (adjusted mean, 18.0 versus 17.8 years, P = 0.46) or significant evidence of older age at the maximal shoe size (20.1 versus 17.6 years, P <0.05). The participants who defined themselves as being as heavy as or heavier than their peers at age 10 to 13 years showed a decreased prostate cancer risk compared with participants who were thinner than their peers (odds ratio 0.36, 95% confidence interval 0.15 to 0.83; and odds ratio 0.38, 95% confidence interval 0.17 to 0.87, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Our results support a role for the indicators of somatic development and adolescent body size in predicting prostate cancer risk, suggesting that risk determinants operating early in life affect men's subsequent prostate cancer risk.


  • Barba, Maddalena
  • Terrenato, Irene
  • Schunemann, Holger
  • Fuhrman, Barbara
  • Sperati, Francesca
  • Teter, Barbara
  • Gallucci, Michele
  • D'Amato, Alberto
  • Muti, Paola

publication date

  • July 2008