Diabetes, characterized by perturbations in insulin production and signaling, is inversely associated with prostate cancer risk irrespective of stage. Obesity, a diabetes risk factor, is inversely associated with localized disease but positively associated with advanced disease. To understand the complex association between hyperinsulinemia and prostate cancer, we evaluated the association of plasma C-peptide, an insulin secretion marker, with prostate cancer risk in a case-control study nested in a prospective community cohort. Prostate cancer cases (n = 264) and matched controls (n = 264) were identified in the CLUE II cohort between 1989 (baseline) and 2002. C-peptide concentration was measured in baseline plasma by ELISA. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were estimated using conditional logistic regression, adjusting for being overweight or obese and family history. Median C-peptide concentration was lower in cases (1,180 pmol/L) than in controls (1,365 pmol/L; P = 0.03). Men in the highest (versus lowest) fourth of C-peptide had a lower risk for prostate cancer (OR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.37-1.14; P-trend = 0.08), primarily localized disease (OR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.19-1.03; P-trend = 0.04). Associations were similar to overall, when excluding cases diagnosed during the first 5 years of follow-up, men with diabetes, or men who had not had a prostate-specific antigen test. C-peptide concentration was inversely associated with subsequent diagnosis of prostate cancer, primarily localized disease, similar to the association for obesity. However, we cannot rule out detection bias that might result if men with higher C-peptide have lower prostate-specific antigen irrespective of whether prostate cancer is present or not.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research