Temporal and spatial trends and determinants of aggressive prostate cancer among Black and White men with prostate cancer



Few studies have reported temporal and spatial trends of aggressive prostate cancer (PC) among black men who are known to have more aggressive disease. We examined these trends for highly aggressive PC at diagnosis among black and white men in Pennsylvania (PA).


Men, aged ≥ 40 years, with a primary, clinical PC diagnosis were identified from the Pennsylvania Cancer Registry, 2004–2014. Joinpoint analysis was used to evaluate the temporal trend of highly aggressive PC (clinical/pathologic Gleason score ≥ 7 [4 + 3], clinical/pathologic tumor stage ≥ T3, or distant metastasis) and identify change points by race in which annual percent change (APC) was calculated. Logistic regression analyses were used to examine the association between race and highly aggressive PC, after adjusting for covariates with and without spatial dependence.


There were 89,133 PC cases, which included 88.7% white and 11.3% black men. The APC of highly aggressive PC was 8.7% from 2011 to 2014 among white men and 3.6% from 2007 to 2014 among black men (p values ≤ 0.01). The greatest odds of having highly aggressive PC among black compared to white men were found in counties where the black male population was ≤ 5.3%.


Highly aggressive PC increased for both black and white men in PA between 2004 and 2014. Black men had more aggressive disease, with the greatest odds in counties where the black male population was small. The increase in highly aggressive PC may be due to less screening for PC, resulting in more advanced disease at diagnosis.

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A special thanks to James Rubertone for data extraction and other inquiries related to the Pennsylvania Cancer Registry.


This study was supported by The Eberly Medical Research Endowment Innovation Fund at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, The Pennsylvania State Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Novel Methodologies in Health Research (5 UL1 RR0330184-04), and Highmark Incorporation Grant at Penn State Cancer Institute.

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Correspondence to Alicia C. McDonald.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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This study used existing data which allowed to waive informed consent and was approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Institutional Review Board of The Pennsylvania State College of Medicine.

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Wang, M., Chi, G., Bodovski, Y. et al. Temporal and spatial trends and determinants of aggressive prostate cancer among Black and White men with prostate cancer. Cancer Causes Control 31, 63–71 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10552-019-01249-0

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  • Prostate cancer
  • Aggressiveness
  • Health disparities
  • Spatial analysis