Racial variation in insulin-like growth factor-1 and binding protein-3 concentrations in middle-aged men

Elizabeth A. Platz, Michael N. Pollak, Eric B. Rimm, Noreen Majeed, Yuzhen Tao, Walter C. Willett, Edward Giovannucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


African-American men have the highest and Asian-American men have the lowest prostate cancer incidence rates in the United States; internationally, rates for the Asian continent are among the lowest. Higher insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1, which participates in the control of cellular growth and differentiation and is modulated by IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), was associated with an increased prostate cancer risk in three recent studies. We, therefore, investigated whether plasma levels of IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 vary by race in United States men selected from among members of the Health Professionals Follow-up Study who were 47-78 years old in 1993-1995 when they provided blood (n = 18,000). All of the men who described their major ancestry as African American (n = 63) and a random sample of 75 Asians and 75 Caucasians were invited to provide a second blood sample in 1997, of whom 42, 52, and 55, respectively, did so. IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 concentrations were determined by ELISA. We used nonparametric methods to assess racial variation in age-adjusted levels. Caucasians had the highest median IGF-1 level (224 ng/ml), followed by Asians (208 ng/ml) and African Americans (205 ng/ml). Median IGFBP-3 concentration was similar between Caucasians and Asians but was more than 13% lower in African Americans. Median molar IGF-1:IGFBP-3 ratio was greatest in Caucasians and lowest in Asians. The lower IGF-1 blood levels relative to IGFBP-3 levels among Asian men are consistent with their lower prostate cancer incidence. Although differences in circulating IGF-1 do not seem to account for the greater prostate cancer risk among African- American men, their absolute lower levels of IGFBP-3 may be contributory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1107-1110
Number of pages4
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Racial variation in insulin-like growth factor-1 and binding protein-3 concentrations in middle-aged men'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this