In the United States, African American (AA) men have a 2.4 times higher mortality rate due to prostate cancer than White men. The multifactorial causes of the racial disparities in prostate cancer involve various social determinants of health, socioeconomic status, and access to healthcare. However, emerging evidence also suggests that circadian rhythm disruption (CRD) contributes to prostate cancer, and AA men may be more susceptible to developing CRDs. Circadian rhythms play a significant role in metabolism, hormone secretion, and sleep/wake cycles. Disruption in these circadian rhythms can be caused by airplane travel/jetlag, night shift work, exposure to light, and neighborhood noise levels, which can contribute to sleep disorders and chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and depression. The drivers of the racial disparities in CRD include night shift work, racial discrimination, elevated stress, and residing in poor neighborhoods characterized by high noise pollution. Given the increased vulnerability of AA men to CRDs, and the role that CRDs play in prostate cancer, elucidating the clock-related prostate cancer pathways and their behavior and environmental covariates may be critical to better understanding and reducing the racial disparities in prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5116
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • artificial light at night
  • circadian genes
  • jet lag
  • melatonin
  • night shift work
  • obesity
  • prostate cancer
  • racial disparities
  • stress
  • treatment resistance


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