Exercise may decrease the risk of prostate cancer (PCa) among white but not black men, new findings show.

In addition, among men who have PCa, exercise decreases their likelihood of having a more serious form of the malignancy.

Lionel L. Bañez, MD, of the Duke Prostate Center, Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and colleagues studied 164 white and 143 black men who were undergoing prostate biopsy. The completed a self-reported survey assessing exercise behavior, measured as metabolic equivalent (MET) hours per week.

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Among whites, men who exercised 9 or more MET hours per week were 53% less likely to have a positive biopsy result compared with men who exercised fewer than 9 MET hours per week, Dr. Bañez’s group reported online ahead of print in Cancer. The revealed no such association among blacks.

Among men who had PCa detected on biopsy, those who exercised had a 13% decreased risk of having high-grade disease, but further analysis revealed that this lower risk was present only among white men.

“Investigating race-specific mechanisms by which exercise modifies CaP risk and why these mechanisms disfavor black men in particular are warranted,” the authors concluded.