Calcium intake increases risk of prostate cancer among Singapore Chinese

Lesley M. Butler, Alvin S. Wong, Woon Puay Koh, Renwei Wang, Jian Min Yuan, Mimi C. Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Consumption of dairy products, the primary source of calcium in Western diets, has been found to be positively associated with prostate cancer. In an Asian diet, nondairy foods are the major contributors of calcium. Thus, a study of dietary calcium and prostate cancer in Asians can better inform on whether calcium, as opposed to other dairy components, is responsible for the dairy foods-prostate cancer association. We examined calcium intake and prostate cancer risk among 27,293 men in the Singapore Chinese Health Study that was established between 1993 and 1998. As of December 31, 2007, 298 incident prostate cancer cases had been diagnosed among the cohort members. Diet was assessed at baseline with a validated 165-item food-frequency questionnaire. It is hypothesized that there is greater net absorption of calcium in smaller individuals. Therefore, the calcium-prostate cancer association was also assessed in stratified analyses by median body mass index. Vegetables were the largest contributor of daily calcium intake in the study population. Overall, we observed a modest, statistically nonsignificant 25% increase in prostate cancer risk for the 4th (median = 659 mg/d) versus 1st (median = 211 mg/d) quartiles of calcium intake after adjustment for potential confounders. The association became considerably stronger and achieved statistical significance (hazard ratio, 2.03; 95% confidence interval, 1.23-3.34; P for trend = 0.01) for men with a below median body mass index (22.9 kg/m2). Dietary calcium might be a risk factor for prostate cancer even at relatively low intake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4941-4948
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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