Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 1185–1191 | Cite as

Socioeconomic status, healthcare density, and risk of prostate cancer among African American and Caucasian men in a large prospective study

  • Jacqueline M. Major
  • M. Norman Oliver
  • Chyke A. Doubeni
  • Albert R. Hollenbeck
  • Barry I. Graubard
  • Rashmi Sinha
Original Paper



The purpose of this study was to separately examine the impact of neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation and availability of healthcare resources on prostate cancer risk among African American and Caucasian men.


In the large, prospective NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, we analyzed baseline (1995–1996) data from adult men, aged 50–71 years. Incident prostate cancer cases (n = 22,523; 1,089 among African Americans) were identified through December 2006. Lifestyle and health risk information was ascertained by questionnaires administered at baseline. Area-level socioeconomic indicators were ascertained by linkage to the US Census and the Area Resource File. Multilevel Cox models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95 % confidence intervals (CIs).


A differential effect among African Americans and Caucasians was observed for neighborhood deprivation (p-interaction = 0.04), percent uninsured (p-interaction = 0.02), and urologist density (p-interaction = 0.01). Compared to men living in counties with the highest density of urologists, those with fewer had a substantially increased risk of developing advanced prostate cancer (HR = 2.68, 95 % CI = 1.31, 5.47) among African American.


Certain socioeconomic indicators were associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer among African American men compared to Caucasians. Minimizing differences in healthcare availability may be a potentially important pathway to minimizing disparities in prostate cancer risk.


Cohort Prostate cancer Multilevel Neighborhood Socioeconomic deprivation Healthcare availability Census 



We are indebted to the participants in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study for their outstanding cooperation. We also thank Sigurd Hermansen and Kerry Grace Morrissey from Westat for study outcomes ascertainment and management and Leslie Carroll at Information Management Services for data support. This research was supported [in part] by the Intramural Research Program of the NIH, National Cancer Institute.

Conflict of interest


Supplementary material

10552_2012_9988_MOESM1_ESM.doc (56 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 55 kb)
10552_2012_9988_MOESM2_ESM.doc (46 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 45 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. (outside the USA)  2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacqueline M. Major
    • 1
  • M. Norman Oliver
    • 2
  • Chyke A. Doubeni
    • 3
  • Albert R. Hollenbeck
    • 4
  • Barry I. Graubard
    • 1
  • Rashmi Sinha
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, Department of Health and Human ServicesNational Cancer Institute, National Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Family MedicineUniversity of Virginia School of MedicineCharlottesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Family Medicine and Community HealthUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA
  4. 4.AARPWashingtonUSA

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