Background. Modifiable factors in adulthood that explain the racial disparity in prostate cancer have not been identified. Because racial differences in utero that may account for this disparity are understudied, we investigated the association of maternal and neonate factors with cord blood telomere length, as a cumulative marker of cell proliferation and oxidative damage, by race. Further, we evaluated whether cord blood telomere length differs by race. Methods. We measured venous umbilical cord blood leukocyte relative telomere length by qPCR in 38 black and 38 white full-term male neonates. Using linear regression, we estimated geometric mean relative telomere length and tested for differences by race. Results. Black mothers were younger and had higher parity and black neonates had lower birth and placental weights. These factors were not associated with relative telomere length, even after adjusting for or stratifying by race. Relative telomere length in black (2.72) and white (2.73) neonates did not differ, even after adjusting for maternal or neonate factors (all p > 0.9). Conclusions. Maternal and neonate factors were not associated with cord blood telomere length, and telomere length did not differ by race. These findings suggest that telomere length at birth does not explain the prostate cancer racial disparity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research