Background: In 2000, the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) collected information about prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test use in a representative sample of U.S. men.
Methods: This study examined PSA test use in subgroups defined by personal and social characteristics.
Results: Among men aged 50 and older with no history of prostate cancer, 56.8% reported ever having had a PSA test, 34.1% reported having had a screening PSA test during the previous year, and 30.0% reported having had three or more tests during the previous 5 years. Screening was greater among men aged 60-79 years, those with greater access to care, and those practicing other preventive behaviors. Among men in their 40s, use tended to be higher among African-American men.
Conclusions: The prevalence and patterns of PSA screening suggest that PSA is used like other cancer screening tests among about a third of U.S. men. Because of the lack of scientific consensus on whether prostate cancer screening is beneficial, more information is needed on how knowledgeable both patients and practitioners are about the potential benefits and harms of screening and how prostate cancer screening decisions are made.