Publication Abstract

Authors: Drazer MW, Huo D, Schonberg MA, Razmaria A, Eggener SE

Title: Population-based patterns and predictors of prostate-specific antigen screening among older men in the United States.

Journal: J Clin Oncol 29(13):1736-43

Date: 2011 May 01

Abstract: PURPOSE: For patients who elect to have prostate cancer screening, the optimal time to discontinue screening is unknown. Our objective was to describe rates and predictors of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening among older men in the United States. METHODS: Data were extracted from the population-based 2000 and 2005 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). PSA screening was defined as a PSA test as part of a routine exam within the past year. Demographic, socioeconomic, and functional characteristics were collected, and a validated 5-year estimated life expectancy was calculated. Age-specific rates of PSA screening were determined, and sampling weight-adjusted multivariate regressions were fitted to determine predictors of screening among men age 70 years or older. RESULTS: The PSA screening rate was 24.0% in men age 50 to 54 years, and it increased steadily with age until a peak of 45.5% among age 70 to 74 years. Screening rates then gradually declined by age, and 24.6% of men age 85 years or older reported being screened. Among men age 70 years or older, screening rates varied by estimated 5-year life expectancy: rates were 47.3% in men with high life expectancies (≤ 15% probability of 5-year mortality), 39.2% in men with intermediate life expectancies (16% to 48% probability), and 30.7% in men with low life expectancies (> 48% probability; P < .001). In multivariate analysis, estimated life expectancy and age remained independently associated with PSA screening (P < .001 for each). CONCLUSION: Rates of PSA screening in the United States are associated with age and estimated life expectancy, but excessive PSA screening in elderly men with limited life expectancies remains a significant problem. The merits and limitations of PSA should be discussed with all patients considering prostate cancer screening.