Systemic inflammation may increase risk for prostate cancer progression, but the role it plays in prostate cancer susceptibility is unknown. From a cohort of over 10,000 men who had either a prostate biopsy or transurethral resection that yielded a benign finding, we analyzed 517 incident prostate cancer cases identified during follow-up and 373 controls with one or more white blood cell tests during a follow-up period between one and 18 years. Multilevel, multivariable longitudinal models were fit to two measures of systemic inflammation, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and monocyte-to-lymphocyte ratio (MLR), to determine NLR and MLR trajectories associated with increased risk for prostate cancer. For both measures, we found no significant differences in the trajectories by case/control status, however in modeling NLR trajectories there was a significant interaction between race (white or Black and case-control status. In race specific models, NLR and MLR values were consistently higher over time among white controls than white cases while case-control differences in NLR and MLR trajectories were not apparent among Black men. When cases were classified as aggressive as compared to non-aggressive, the case-control differences in NLR and MLR values over time among white men were most apparent for non-aggressive cases. For NLR among white men, significant case-control differences were observed for the entire duration of observation for men who had inflammation in their initial prostate specimen. It is possible that, among white men, monitoring of NLR and MLR trajectories after an initial negative biopsy may be useful in monitoring prostate cancer risk.
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