We used data from a population-based cohort study of blacks, Hispanics, Japanese and whites to examine the frequency of prevalent prostate and breast cancer by family history status of first-degree relatives (parents and siblings). Independent of race, the age-adjusted relative risk for prevalent prostate cancer in subjects with affected brothers was approximately two times that in subjects with affected fathers (P < 0.00005). No such excess risk for breast cancer was observed among subjects with affected sisters compared to those with affected mothers (age- and race-adjusted relative risk = 1.10, P= 0.34). The magnitude of the relative risk for prostate cancer in sibling-versus parent-affected groups was significantly different from that of the comparable relative risk for breast cancer (P < 0.00005). An excess risk of prostate cancer in men with affected brothers compared to those with affected fathers is consistent with the hypothesis of an X-linked, or recessive, model of inheritance.
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