Black men are not more likely to die from prostate cancer compared with White men and those of certain other races, according to a recent study of 51,530 men diagnosed with prostate cancer in Canada from 1992 to 2010.

“Our results contradict earlier studies suggesting that Black men may have a biologically distinct form of aggressive prostate cancer,” Noah Stern, MD, MSc, of Western University in London, Ontario, Canada, and coauthors reported in JAMA Network Open. “These findings may have implications for future prostate cancer screening and treatment guidelines.”

Of the cohort, 29,705 patients died, 7925 from prostate cancer. Compared with White patients and those of selected other races and ethnicities (reference group), Black men had a 17% decreased risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality (PCSM), a difference that was not statistically significant.

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“The results of our study are consistent with recent pooled analyses of administrative data sets in which adjusting for nonbiological differences, including socioeconomic status and health care access, nearly eliminated the increased risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality observed among Black men in the US,” the investigators wrote.

Dr Stern’s team noted that Black men are purported to have an increased risk for early and aggressive prostate cancer, which has resulted in recommendations for earlier prostate cancer screening as well as evidence of distinctive treatment patterns. These recommendations, however, lack support by high-quality data, “rendering the validity of these conclusions uncertain.”

“Data from the Canadian health care system are well suited for studying the association of race and ethnicity and prostate cancer mortality, owing to Canada’s diverse population and universal health care model.”

The study also found that, compared with the reference group, patients of East Asian and South Asian ethnicity had a significant 38% and 47% decreased risk for PCSM, respectively.


Stern N, Ly TL, Welk B, et al. Association of race and ethnicity with prostate cancer-specific mortality in Canada. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(12):e2136364. Published online December 21, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.36364