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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.

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Date last reviewed: 12/6/2006




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