Factors associated with prostate specific antigen testing in Australians

This analysis of the New South Wales 45 & Up study, aimed to identify factors associated with prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing in Australian men without a diagnosis of prostate cancer or prior prostate disease. Self-completed questionnaires were linked to cancer registrations, hospitalisations, health service data and deaths. Of the 62,675 eligible men, over 50% had at least one screening PSA test between 2012-14. Compared to men aged 50-59, the odds of having a PSA test was highest for men aged 60-69 years and lowest for those ages 80 years or older. The proportions of men who had a PSA test increased with increasing household income, and were higher for men who had higher levels of education compared to those with no school certification or any qualification. Factors strongly associated with having a PSA test included having over 26 GP consultations in the three years (versus 3-9 consultations). This study identifies the socio-economic and health system factors associated with having a PSA screening test, and further studies should investigate the these characteristics in men who are unlikely to benefit from testing. Given the high rate of testing, it is important that primary care providers are ensuring men are making informed choices regarding PSA tests. Read the full article
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