Black women may be at a higher risk of developing aggressive breast cancer due to having less vitamin D in their bodies than white women. A new report presented on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities explains how the risks of cancer increase if someone has a vitamin D deficiency.
Blockage of vitamin D from sunlight may be a result of having darker skin, and absorption of sunlight is the main vitamin D source for many people.
For the study, 107 women all having previous diagnoses of breast cancer in the last five years were evaluated. Of the women, 60 were black and 47 were white.
Each woman provided a blood sample allowing researchers to determine vitamin D levels. White women had average vitamin D concentration levels of 29.8 ng/ml and black women had average levels of 19.3 ng/ml.
Vitamin D deficiency has been defined by researchers as having less than 20 ng/ml. In the study, 60 percent of black women were considered vitamin D deficient and the percentage of white women was 15 percent.
Aggressive breast cancer was eight times more likely in participants deficient in vitamin D.
Researchers explain this study to be effective to formulate potential prevention methods, but additional research is necessary.