Objectives. Rates of prostate cancer in Kingston, Jamaica are extremely high (occurring in more than 300 men out of 100,000 in 1989 to 1993). This article addresses the familial aggregation of prostate cancer in Jamaica. Early evidence for familial prostate cancer was found in the Utah Mormon population. Increased risk of prostate cancer in men with a family history of prostate cancer has been consistently observed in subsequent studies. There have been few studies, however, involving black men, who are known to have an overall higher risk of developing prostate cancer. Methods. Two hundred sixty-three patients with prostate cancer documented by histology were studied. Two hundred sixty-three age-matched control patients were used for comparison. Extensive pedigrees were obtained for both patients with cancer and controls. Data on other malignancies including lung, breast, colon, stomach, and uterine were also collected. Results. The patients with cancer and the controls were comparable with respect to age and family size. Thirty patients with cancer had a first degree relative (ie, brother, father, or son) with prostate cancer compared to 15 controls. The odds ratio is 2.1 (95% confidence interval 1.1 to 4.4). Nine patients with cancer had a second degree relative (ie, grandfather, grandson, or uncle) affected compared to 3 controls. The odds ratio is 3.1 (95% confidence interval 0.8 to 17.8). There was no statistically significant difference in the rates of any of the other cancers studied. Conclusions. Familial aggregation of prostate cancer is clearly evident in black Jamaican men. A man with one first degree relative with prostate cancer is twice as likely as the general population to develop prostate cancer. In addition, there may be a statistical difference in the risk of developing prostate cancer if an individual has one second degree relative affected.
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