STUDY OBJECTIVE--To analyse the relationship between marital status, indicators of sexual activity, history of urological and venereal diseases, and the risk of prostatic cancer. DESIGN--Case-control study. SETTING--A network of cooperating hospitals from northern Italy. PARTICIPANTS--A total of 271 patients with histologically confirmed prostatic cancer and 685 controls in hospital because of acute, non-neoplastic, non-genital or urological conditions. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS--Relative risks (RR) and the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) derived from multiple logistic regression equations, including terms for age, area of residence, and education were determined. The risk of prostatic cancer was lower in never married than in married men (RR = 0.6), but not significantly so. Cases reported a significantly higher number of marriages than control subjects, and the RR was 3.2 (95% CI = 1.2, 8.9) for two or more marriages compared with never married men. Prostatic cancer patients also reported being significantly older at the time of their first marriage: compared with men who first married under age 25 years, the RR was 1.6 for marriage at age 25 to 29, and 1.8 for age 30 or more. With regard to urological or venereal diseases, only cystitis and nephrolithiasis were more frequently reported by cases, although there was no tendency for the risk to increase with the number of cystitis episodes and the RR decreased for longer periods since the first episode. CONCLUSIONS--Although these results do not show a totally cohesive picture, they confirm that some aspects of sexual lifestyle are associated with prostatic cancer in Italy.
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