Cigarette smoking and risk of prostate cancer among Singapore Chinese

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Prospective epidemiologic studies conducted in Western populations support an association between current smoking and aggressive subtypes of prostate cancer. In Singapore, where prostate-specific antigen is not used for population-wide screening, prostate cancer incidence has tripled within the past two decades. Using Cox regression methods, we examined the relationship between smoking and prostate cancer established between 1993 and 1998 in a cohort of 27,293 Singapore Chinese men. As of December 2006, 250 incident prostate cancer cases were diagnosed. In our cohort, 42.2% reported never smoking cigarettes, 15.7% quit over 5 years ago (long-term former), 5.7% quit within the past 5 years (recent former), and 36.4% were current smokers. From multivariable models, we observed no association with smoking status, age at starting to smoke, years smoked, or number of cigarettes per day. Among recent former and current smokers combined, we observed a small positive association for earlier age at starting to smoke that was somewhat stronger for nonadvanced disease (hazard ratio = 1.63, 95% confidence interval: 0.85, 3.12, for <15 years versus nonsmokers). Smoking was not a major risk factor for prostate cancer in our Singapore Chinese cohort, a traditionally low risk population with parallel increases in incidence and mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1967-1974
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cigarette smoking
  • Epidemiology
  • Prospective study
  • Prostate cancer
  • Singapore Chinese

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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