Objectives: Previous studies have observed higher age-specific serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) values in African-American (AA) men without prostate cancer compared to white men, leading some to recommend race-specific PSA reference ranges for the early detection of prostate cancer. The primary objective of the Flint Men's Health Study was to determine age-specific PSA reference values in a community-based sample of AA men, aged 40 to 79 years.
Methods: A probability sample of 943 AA men was selected from households in Genesee County, Michigan. Men without a prior history of prostate cancer/surgery were invited to participate in a prostate cancer screening protocol, consisting of measurement of serum total PSA, free/total PSA ratio, and digital rectal examination. Sextant biopsies were recommended, based on total PSA greater than 4.0 ng/mL and/or an abnormal digital rectal examination.
Results: From the sample of 943 men, 732 were eligible, 432 had blood drawn for PSA testing, and 374 completed all phases of the clinical examination. The 95th percentile PSA values were estimated to range from 2.36 ng/mL for men in the fifth decade to 5.59 ng/mL for men in the eighth decade. The 95th percentile values for age-specific PSA were comparable to those observed in a similar study of white men in Olmsted County, Minnesota. The median and 5th percentile values for free/total PSA did not vary significantly across age.
Conclusions: The minor differences in PSA reference ranges between AA and white men may not be of sufficient magnitude to recommend the use of race-specific PSA reference ranges for screening.