A case--control study of selenium in nails and prostate cancer risk in British men.
Allen NE., Morris JS., Ngwenyama RA., Key TJ.
In view of the experimental evidence suggesting that the micronutrient selenium reduces prostate cancer risk, we investigated the association between the selenium level in fingernails, a measure of long-term selenium intake, and prostate cancer risk in a case-control study among 656 British men, conducted in 1989-1992. Nail clippings were taken at the time of recruitment and selenium concentration, measured using neutron activation techniques, was successfully assayed for 300 case-control pairs and varied six-fold among the controls (0.59 p.p.m.; interquartile range, 0.50-0.71 p.p.m.). Nail selenium concentration was not significantly associated with prostate cancer risk: men in the highest quartile of nail selenium had a slightly increased risk compared with men in the lowest quartile (OR 1.24, 95 CI, 0.73-2.10); for advanced prostate cancer, men in the highest quartile had a slightly reduced risk compared with men in the lowest quartile (OR 0.78, 95% CI, 0.27-2.25). These results suggest that selenium is not strongly associated with prostate cancer risk in British men.