The epidemiology of prostate cancer in Jamaica

Frank E. Glover, Donald S. Coffey, L. Lawson Douglas, Mark Cadogan, Hope Russell, Trevor Tulloch, Timothy D. Baker, Robert L. Wan, Patrick C. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Before this study, the highest reported incidence of prostate cancer in the world was thought to be among United States black men. The age adjusted rates in 1992 for United States black and white men were 249 and 182/100,000 respectively. The epidemiology of prostate cancer in Jamaica, a country of 2.5 million people of primarily African descent, was studied and compared with that of white and black Americans. Materials and Methods: The study included 1,121 cases of prostate cancer diagnosed from 1989 to 1994. Sources of information included the Jamaican Cancer Registry, government pathology laboratory, hospital and clinic records, and physician office records. Incidence rates were computed using data from the 1991 Jamaican census. Age adjustments were made using the 1970 United States standard population. Results: The average age adjusted incidence of prostate cancer in Kingston, Jamaica was 304/100,000 men. Median patient age at diagnosis was 72 years. More than 80% of the cases were pathologically confirmed. Of the patients 30% presented with acute urinary retention, 16% presented with bone metastases, 15% had gross hematuria at the time of diagnosis and an abnormal rectal examination suspicious for cancer was noted in 42%. Prostate specific antigen was measured in only 7% of cases in 1989 but in 48% of cases by 1994. Conclusions: These data demonstrate that Jamaican men in Kingston have a high incidence of prostate cancer, much higher than even black Americans during a similar period. Furthermore, the cancers are more significant clinically with greater morbidity in Jamaica than in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1984-1987
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidemiology
  • Hereditary diseases
  • Negroid race
  • Prostatic neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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