Background: In vitro, animal, and ecological studies suggest that inadequate vitamin D intake could increase prostate cancer risk, but results of biomarker-based longitudinal studies are inconsistent. Methods: Data for this case (n = 1,731) and cohort (n = 3,203) analysis are from the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial. Cox proportional hazard models were used to test whether baseline plasma vitamin D (25-hydroxy) concentration, adjusted for season of blood collection, was associated with the risk of total and Gleason score 2-6, 7-10, and 8-10 prostate cancer. Results: There were U-shaped associations of vitamin D with total cancer risk: compared with the first quintile, HRs were 0.83 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.66-1.03; P = 0.092], 0.74 (95% CI, 0.59-0.92; P = 0.008), 0.86 (95% CI, 0.69-1.07; P = 0.181), and 0.98 (95% CI, 0.78-1.21; P = 0.823), for the second through fifth quintiles, respectively. For Gleason 7-10 cancer, corresponding HRs were 0.63 (95% CI, 0.45-0.90; P = 0.010), 0.66 (95% CI, 0.47-0.92; P = 0.016), 0.79 (95% CI, 0.56-1.10; P = 0.165), and 0.88 (95% CI, 0.63-1.22; P = 0.436). Among African American men (n = 250 cases), higher vitamin D was associated with reduced risk of Gleason 7-10 cancer only: in the a posteriori contrast of quintiles 1-2 versus 3-5, the HR was 0.55 (95% CI, 0.31-0.97; P = 0.037), with no evidence of dose-response or a U-shaped association. Conclusions: Both low and high vitamin D concentrations were associated with increased risk of prostate cancer, and more strongly for high-grade disease. Impact: The optimal range of circulating vitamin D for prostate cancer prevention may be narrow. Supplementation of men with adequate levels may be harmful.
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