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Abigayle Simon

Long Beach, Calif. (April 5, 2024)—Microvascular function is lower is Black men following a recent diagnosis of prostate cancer, compared to white men, according to researchers at the Medical College of Georgia. Researchers will present their work this week at the American Physiology Summit, the flagship annual meeting of the American Physiological Society (APS), in Long Beach, California.

It is widely documented that racial disparities exist in prostate cancer outcomes. The purpose of this study was to comprehensively assess vascular health in Black and white men who were within three months of prostate cancer diagnosis. In this case, researchers examined 28 men who were newly diagnosed with prostate cancer (10 white and 18 Black). They evaluated vascular health by measuring large blood vessel function (brachial artery dilation), small blood vessel function (microvascular blood flow) and arterial stiffness. The researchers determined the Black men had significantly lower microvascular function compared with their white counterparts. Impaired microvascular function often is an early sign of heart disease risk.

The Black men in this study were four years younger than the white participants. The age difference suggests that microvascular dysfunction might also accelerate vascular aging and contribute to racial disparity in cardiovascular disease following a prostate cancer diagnosis.

Researchers hope these findings lead to new treatments to help eliminate the racial disparity and improve prostate cancer outcomes between Black and white men. “Understanding how race impacts the time course of vascular health following diagnosis of prostate cancer will lead to more effective therapeutic strategies to reduce the cardiovascular burden associated with cancer,” said Abigayle Simon, a medical student at the Medical College of Georgia and lead author of the study.


NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: The American Physiology Summit will be held April 4–7, 2024, in Long Beach, California. To request the full abstract, “Racial disparity in microvascular function in men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer” (#246), or schedule an interview with the researchers, conference organizers or presenters, contact APS Media Relations or call 301.634.7314. Find more highlights from the meeting in our Summit Newsroom.

Physiology is a broad area of scientific inquiry that focuses on how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. The American Physiological Society connects a global, multidisciplinary community of more than 10,000 biomedical scientists and educators as part of its mission to advance scientific discovery, understand life and improve health. The Society drives collaboration and spotlights scientific discoveries through its 16 scholarly journals and programming that support researchers and educators in their work.

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