Background: Prostate cancer is a leading public health burden worldwide, and in New Zealand it is the most commonly registered cancer and the third leading cause of cancer deaths among males. Genetic variability and its associations with diet, demographic and lifestyle factors could influence the risk of this disease. Methods: The single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within a group of antioxidant genes and related markers were tested between patient and control cohorts, adjusted for significant differences between basic lifestyle and demographic characteristics. Results: Increasing age, smoking and low serum selenium levels were significantly associated with an increased risk for prostate disease. Alcohol consumption increased the glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity. A significant reduction in alcohol consumption was recorded with prostate disease. Three SNPs, namely GPx1 rs1050450, SEL15 rs5845 and CAT rs1001179, were significantly associated with prostate disease risk. A cumulative risk of prostate cancer was noted with 6 risk alleles. A lower GPx activity was recorded with prostate disease compared to the controls. However, the GPx1 rs1050450 allele T in association with prostate cancer recorded a significantly higher GPx activity compared to the controls. Conclusions: These data point to a possibility of identifying individuals at risk of prostate cancer for better management purposes.

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