Prostate-specific antigen testing in inner London general practices: are those at higher risk most likely to get tested?

To investigate the association between factors influencing prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing prevalence including prostate cancer risk factors (age, ethnicity, obesity) and non-risk factors (social deprivation and comorbidity).

A cross-sectional database of 136 inner London general practices from 1 August 2009 to 31 July 2014.

Men aged ≥40 years without prostate cancer were included (n=150 481).

Logistic regression analyses were used to estimate the association between PSA testing and age, ethnicity, social deprivation, body mass index (BMI) and comorbidity while adjusting for age, benign prostatic hypertrophy, prostatitis and tamsulosin or finasteride use.

PSA testing prevalence was 8.2% (2013-2014), and the mean age was 54 years (SD 11). PSA testing was positively associated with age (OR 70-74 years compared to 40-44 years: 7.34 (95% CI 6.82 to 7.90)), ethnicity (black) (OR compared to white: 1.78 (95% CI 1.71 to 1.85)), increasing BMI and cardiovascular comorbidity. Testing was negatively associated with Chinese ethnicity and with increasing social deprivation.

PSA testing among black patients was higher compared to that among white patients, which differs from lower testing rates seen in previous studies. PSA testing was positively associated with prostate cancer risk factors and non-risk factors. Association with non-risk factors may increase the risk of unnecessary invasive diagnostic procedures.

BMJ open. 2016 Jul 12*** epublish ***

Paul Nderitu, Mieke Van Hemelrijck, Mark Ashworth, Rohini Mathur, Sally Hull, Alexandra Dudek, Simon Chowdhury

Department of Oncology, Guy's Hospital, London, UK., Cancer Epidemiology Group, Division of Cancer Studies, King's College London, London, UK., Department of Primary Care and Public Health Sciences, King's College London, London, UK., Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK., Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK., Department of Oncology, Guy's Hospital, London, UK., Department of Oncology, Guy's Hospital, London, UK.

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