Saturday, December 29, 2012

Vitamin D and Cancer in African-Americans

H/T The Breviary (here).

Differences in vitamin D status may account for unexplained disparities in cancer survival rates between African and White Americans

Authors: William B. Grant and Alan N. Peiris View affiliations


Considerable disparities in cancer survival rates exist between African Americans (AAs) and white Americans (WAs). Various factors such as differences in socioeconomic status (SES), cancer stage at time of diagnosis, and treatment—which this analysis considers primary explanatory factors—have accounted for many of these differences. An additional factor not usually considered is vitamin D. Previous studies have inversely correlated higher solar UV-B (UVB) doses and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations with incidence and/or mortality rates for about 20 types of cancer and improved survival rates for eight types of cancer. Because of darker skin pigmentation, AAs have 40% lower serum 25(OH)D concentrations than WAs. This study reviews the literature on disparities in cancer survival between AAs and WAs. The journal literature indicates that there are disparities for 13 types of cancer after consideration of SES, stage at diagnosis and treatment: bladder, breast, colon, endometrial, lung, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, rectal, testicular, and vaginal cancer; Hodgkin’s lymphoma; and melanoma. Solar UVB doses and/or serum 25(OH)D concentrations have been reported inversely correlated with incidence and/or mortality rates for all of these cancers. This finding suggests that future studies should consider serum 25(OH)D concentrations in addressing cancer survival disparities through both measurements of serum 25(OH)D concentrations and increasing serum 25(OH)D concentrations of those diagnosed with cancer, leading to improved survival rates and reduced disparities.

James C. Collier


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Anonymous said...

Not just a lack of vitamins but also poor diet choice. I was interested in starting a small health store once in the black community here in Denver. But after serious thought it would have been a bad investment.

George Parigian Jr. said...

Not mentioned is the fact that African Americans living in temperate climates with long winters do not get the sun exposure due to their higher skin melanin content which screens out more of the sun's uv rays. As we know, sun exposure is one of the main ways the body synthesizes vitamin-d, which by the way is not really a vitamin, but a hormone! The other ways the body makes vitamin-d is with cholesterol, and since we are being told to eat less of it, our ability to make vitamin-d is compromised.

White Foreman said...

There is data that blacks get *more* CVD when taking vitamin D supplements, so the skin-blocking thing is not something to be followed blindly.

But why do you moderate this blog? That kills the conversation, like that censoring 'fraidy cat Wayne Bennett does. Oh well, on to find an open blog. That's a shame, that poll of yours is really funny so I'd thought this was not a knee jerk black racist blog.

White Foreman said...

Anonymous Surgical Oncology India, go away you freakish spammer.

MyTmarhar said...

As a black man,I was diagnosed as being vitamin D- deficient & I have to take a supplement to raise my level.On the same hand, I am told that even though my skin is dark, I still should wear sunblock(even though I still have to get some sun exposure for the vitamin D!) This article states that sunblock filters out some of the sun's rays that produce vitamin D; I feel confused because this sounds contradictory, but I still will try to avoid sun exposure as much as possible & will take the supplement until my level increases!!