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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Serum levels of selenium and smoking habits at age 50 influence long term prostate cancer risk; a 34 year ULSAM follow-up

Birgitta Grundmark145*, Björn Zethelius24, Hans Garmo135 and Lars Holmberg135

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Surgical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

2 Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences/Geriatrics, Uppsala University, Sweden

3 King's College London, Medical School, Division of Cancer Studies, London, UK

4 Medical Products Agency, Uppsala, Sweden

5 Regional Oncologic Centre of the Uppsala-Orebro region, Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden

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BMC Cancer 2011, 11:431  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-431

Published: 7 October 2011

Abstract

Background

Serum selenium level (s-Se) has been associated with prostate cancer (PrCa) risk. We investigated the relation between s-Se, smoking and non-screening detected PrCa and explored if polymorphisms in two DNA repair genes: OGG1 and MnSOD, influenced any effect of s-Se.

Methods

ULSAM, a population based Swedish male cohort (n = 2322) investigated at age 50 for s-Se and s-Se influencing factors: serum cholesterol, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and smoking habits. At age 71 a subcohort, (n = 1005) was genotyped for OGG1 and MnSOD polymorphisms.

Results

In a 34-year-follow-up, national registries identified 208 PrCa cases further confirmed in medical records. Participants with s-Se in the upper tertile had a non-significantly lower risk of PrCa. Smokers with s-Se in the two lower tertiles (≤80 μg/L) experienced a higher cumulative incidence of PrCa than smokers in the high selenium tertile (Hazard Ratio 2.39; 95% CI: 1.09-5.25). A high tertile selenium level in combination with non-wt rs125701 of the OGG1 gene in combination with smoking status or rs4880 related variation of MnSOD gene appeared to protect from PrCa.

Conclusions

S-Se levels and smoking habits influence long-term risk of PrCa. Smoking as a risk factor for PrCa in men with low s-Se is relevant to explore further. Exploratory analyses of variations in OGG1 and MnSOD genes indicate that hypotheses about patterns of exposure to selenium and smoking combined with data on genetic variation in genes involved in DNA repair can be valuable to pursue.