Is there an association between coronary atherosclerosis and carcinoma of the prostate in men aged 50 years and older? An autopsy and coroner based post-mortem study
Background: Atherosclerotic disease is the most common cause of death in the United States and prostate cancer has the highest incidence among males in the United States. Reports have indicated that atherosclerosis and cancers my share common pathoetiologic and pathogenetic cascades. If atherosclerosis and cancers have common pathoetiologic and pathogenetic cascades, both diseases will co-occur and patients may represent a potential target group for cancer screening interventions.
Materials and Methods: Prostates and coronary vessels were examined from 37 deceased men, aged 50 years and older, who died unexpectedly and suddenly from traumatic causes. Tissue sections of the entire prostate were examined for benign and malignant lesions. Analysis of Variance was used to compare mean coronary artery atherosclerosis scores among groups of men with diagnosis of adenocarcinoma, intraepithelial neoplasm, benign hyperplasia and normal prostate glands.
Results: Twelve prostates (32.5%) showed adenocarcinoma of the prostate, four with Gleason score 7 and eight with Gleason score 6. After adjustment for age and race, there remained no statistical difference between prostate pathology groups and atherosclerosis score (F = 0.72; P = 0.55).
Conclusions: To our knowledge, ours is the first study to use direct pathological examination of tissues for definitive identification of atherosclerosis and prostate cancer. In our case series, the occurrence and progression of coronary atherosclerotic disease and cancer of the prostate were not associated.
Key words: Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, pathology, prostate cancer