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Prostate cancer and vasectomy: a hospital-based case���control study in China, Nepal and the Republic of Korea

  • Author Footnotes
    1 Current address: Social and Scientific Systems, Inc., Durham, NC, USA.
    Pamela J. Schwingl
    Footnotes
    1 Current address: Social and Scientific Systems, Inc., Durham, NC, USA.
    Affiliations
    Family Health International, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA
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  • Olav Meirik
    Affiliations
    United Nations Development Programme/United Nations Population Fund/World Health Organization/World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland
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  • Nathalie Kapp
    Affiliations
    United Nations Development Programme/United Nations Population Fund/World Health Organization/World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland
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  • Timothy M.M. Farley
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Tel.: +41 22 791 33 10; fax: +41 22 791 41 71.
    Affiliations
    United Nations Development Programme/United Nations Population Fund/World Health Organization/World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland
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  • on behalf of the HRP Multicenter Study of Prostate Cancer and Vasectomy
  • Author Footnotes
    1 Current address: Social and Scientific Systems, Inc., Durham, NC, USA.

      Abstract

      Background

      The study of a possible relationship between vasectomy and prostate cancer has yielded mixed results. Data from developing countries are limited.

      Study Design

      We conducted a hospital-based case���control study in China, Nepal and the Republic of Korea to evaluate the risk of prostate cancer after vasectomy.

      Results

      Prostate cancer in 294 cases (confirmed by independent pathologists) and 879 matched controls were included. The odds ratio of prostate cancer in men with a history of vasectomy was 1.21 [95% confidence interval (95% CI)=0.79, 1.87]. No significant trend was observed in risk by time since vasectomy or age at vasectomy. The odds ratio for localized disease was 1.02 (95% CI=0.53, 1.95); the odds ratio for later stages was 1.41 (95% CI=0.78, 2.53). No confounding factor was identified. The study illustrated differential misclassification of disease by vasectomy status; reference pathologists determined that 28% of men with a history of vasectomy, compared with 17% of men without a history of vasectomy, were misdiagnosed with prostate cancer by local pathologists.

      Conclusion

      Vasectomy is not associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer in developing countries where the rate of the disease is low.

      Keywords

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