Linking African ancestral substructure to prostate cancer health disparities

Kazzem Gheybi, Naledi Mmekwa, Maphuti Tebogo Lebelo, Sean M. Patrick, Raymond Campbell, Mukudeni Nenzhelele, Pamela X.Y. Soh, Muvhulawa Obida, Massimo Loda, Joyce Shirindi, Eboneé N. Butler, Shingai B.A. Mutambirwa, M. S.Riana Bornman, Vanessa M. Hayes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prostate cancer (PCa) is a significant health burden in Sub-Saharan Africa, with mortality rates loosely linked to African ancestry. Yet studies aimed at identifying contributing risk factors are lacking within the continent and as such exclude for significant ancestral diversity. Here, we investigate a series of epidemiological demographic and lifestyle risk factors for 1387 men recruited as part of the multi-ethnic Southern African Prostate Cancer Study (SAPCS). We found poverty to be a decisive factor for disease grade and age at diagnosis, with other notably significant PCa associated risk factors including sexually transmitted diseases, erectile dysfunction, gynaecomastia, and vertex or complete pattern balding. Aligned with African American data, Black ethnicity showed significant risk for PCa diagnosis (OR = 1.44, 95% CI 1.05–2.00), and aggressive disease presentation (ISUP ≥ 4: OR = 2.25, 95% CI 1.49–3.40). New to this study, we demonstrate African ancestral population substructure associated PCa disparity, observing increased risk for advanced disease for the southern African Tsonga people (ISUP ≥ 4: OR = 3.43, 95% CI 1.62–7.27). Conversely, South African Coloured were less likely to be diagnosed with aggressive disease overall (ISUP ≥ 3: OR = 0.38, 95% 0.17–0.85). Understanding the basis for PCa health disparities calls for African inclusion, however, lack of available data has limited the power to begin discussions. Here, focusing on arguably the largest study of its kind for the African continent, we draw attention to the contribution of within African ancestral diversity as a contributing factor to PCa health disparities within the genetically diverse region of southern Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20909
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Linking African ancestral substructure to prostate cancer health disparities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this