Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Dr. Grace Lasker


Over 2 million adult men in the United States have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, with nearly 200,000 new diagnoses each year. This type of cancer is the leading cause of mortality in U.S. men. One possible risk factor for prostate cancer is a high level of iron in the body, but the association has yet to be confirmed. This study was an investigation of the relationship between serum iron concentration and prostate cancer using data obtained from the 2009-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. This quantitative study involved 1,850 men in the U.S. aged 51 to 70 years. The framework for this research was based on the exposure-disease model. Participants' data were analyzed using chi-squared independence tests and hierarchical logistic regression, while controlling for demographic variables (body mass index, age, ethnicity, poverty-to-income ratio, educational attainment, and hours worked in the last week) to account for potential confounding effects. Serum iron concentration was not found to be significantly associated with prostate cancer diagnosis in this sample. Additional results indicated a significant association between age and prostate cancer, and between ethnicity and prostate cancer, confirming previous research findings. This study contributes to positive social change by confirming the importance of screening for prostate cancer among high-risk populations and by suggesting that it is premature to use serum iron concentration as a screening tool to detect prostate cancer.