Skip Navigation LinksSkip Navigation Links
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC Home Search Health Topics A-Z

The content, links, and pdfs are no longer maintained and might be outdated.

  • The content on this page is being archived for historic and reference purposes only.
  • For current, updated information see the MMWR website.

QuickStats: Percentage of Men Aged >40 Years* with Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Levels of >2.5 and >4.0 ng/mL, by Race/Ethnicity --- National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, United States, 2001--2004

* Men were excluded from PSA testing if they reported prostate cancer, current prostate infection, prostate biopsy, or cystoscopy within the preceding 30 days or digital rectal examination within the preceding 7 days.

Although screening for prostate cancer using the PSA test is common, clinicians are divided over whether the screening test is effective and whether a lower PSA threshold should be used to refer patients for prostate biopsy to rule out cancer. A PSA level of >4.0 ng/mL is the common threshold; however, certain researchers have recommended lowering the level to >2.5 ng/mL. During 2001--2004, approximately 6.2% (3.6 million) of men aged >40 years in the United States had a PSA level of >4.0 ng/mL, and approximately 13.1% had a PSA of >2.5 ng/mL. Differences among racial/ethnic groups tested were not statistically significant.

SOURCES: Lacher DA, Thompson TD, Hughes JP, Saraiya M. Total, free, and percent free prostate-specific antigen levels among U.S. men, 2001--04. Adv Data 2006;379. Available at

Catalona WJ, Loeb S, Han M. Viewpoint: expanding prostate cancer screening. Ann Intern Med 2006;144:441--3.

Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of the date of publication.

Disclaimer   All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from ASCII text into HTML. This conversion may have resulted in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users should not rely on this HTML document, but are referred to the electronic PDF version and/or the original MMWR paper copy for the official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to

Date last reviewed: 12/6/2006




Safer, Healthier People

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd, MailStop E-90, Atlanta, GA 30333, U.S.A


Department of Health
and Human Services