Does Exercise Reduce the Risk of Prostate Cancer for Caucasian and African American Men? logo1267406_mdA new study published early online in Cancer concluded that exercise may reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer among Caucasian men but not African American men. It also found that Caucasian men who have prostate cancer may reduce their risk of more serious forms of the disease by exercise. However, this benefit does not apply to African American men. These studies partially reinforce previous findings but the role of race in prostate cancer has not been previously determined.

Researchers surveyed 307 men (164 white, 143 African American) who were undergoing a prostate biopsy and asked about the amount of exercise each participated in weekly using categories of sedentary, mildly active, moderately active, and highly active. Findings showed that for Caucasian men who were moderately or highly active they were 53% less likely to have biopsy results indicating they had prostate cancer, when compared with men who were sedentary or mildly active. For African American men there was no association between exercise amount and prostate cancer.

The researchers also evaluated the relationship between exercise and tumor gradeĀ  in those with prostate cancer. Among those with cancer, exercise reduced their risk of having high grade disease by 13% . This was significant for Caucasian men but not African American men. Authors concluded that “these findings that African-American men may not benefit from exercise the way Caucasian men do could be a contributor to why African-American race is a risk factor for prostate cancer and aggressive prostate cancer. Further studies are needed to investigate the mechanism behind this racial disparity in deriving cancer-related benefits from exercise which disfavors African-American men., ”

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