Background: Zinc deficiency is reportedly common and influences prostate cancer (PCa) incidence among elderly males. Hence, this study was designed to determine the prevalence of zinc deficiency among Nigerian males with PCa. Materials and Methods: This was a descriptive case-control study among 220 PCa patients and 220 age-matched controls. Clinical and laboratory variables were obtained and evaluated among both study groups. Analysis of serum PSA and plasma zinc was done under standard protocols. Results: No age difference (cases: 69.73 ± 7.72 vs controls: 68.97 ± 7.32; P > 0.05) was observed among both study groups. Prevalence of zinc deficiency among PCa and control groups was 69.1% and 21.8%, respectively. Zinc deficiency was more prevalent among the elderly PCa patients (n = 119; 78.3%) compared to elderly controls. Higher proportion (n = 136; 89.5%) of zinc-deficient PCa patients presented with moderate-severe PCa disease. Elderly PCa patients (n = 119; 81.0%) predominated among those exhibiting moderate-severe PCa disease. Inverse relationship between zinc and age was more pronounced among the PCa patients (Beta= -0.454; P < 0.001) than the controls (Beta= -0.343; P ≤ 0.001). Conclusion: The study findings indicate a significant burden of zinc deficiency associated with adverse outcome of PCa among elderly males with the disease. Zinc deficiency may serve as a therapeutic target or diagnostic marker in elderly males with PCa.

Nutrition and cancer. 2019 Sep 14 [Epub ahead of print]

Collins Amadi, Benjamin M Aleme

Department of Chemical Pathology and Metabolic Medicine, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital , Port Harcourt , Nigeria.