PSA Testing in Office-Based Clinics: Are We Testing as Much as We Think?

J Am Coll Surg. 2005 Dec;201(6):906-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2005.07.012. Epub 2005 Oct 13.


Background: Self-report studies of widespread use of routine prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing have fueled concerns about overuse and possible harm. The purpose of this study was to examine use of PSA testing during physician office visits in a national sample of prostate-cancer-free men ages 40 years and older.

Methods: Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression models of receiving a PSA test by prostate-cancer-free men ages 40 years and older were performed using the 2000 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey.

Results: There were 2,709 primary care and urology office visits by prostate-cancer-free men 40 years of age and older, and 10.2% resulted in a PSA test. In a multivariate model, men in their 70s had considerably higher odds (odd ratio, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.11-2.32) and men with multiple medical comorbidities had considerably lower odds (odds ratio, 0.28; 95% CI, 0.10-0.65) of receiving a PSA test.

Conclusions: We report lower use of PSA testing than previously published. Greater insight into use of PSA testing based on clinic and hospital administrative data are required to determine the impact of PSA testing on the cost of health care and prostate cancer incidence and mortality.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Office Visits
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood*
  • United States
  • Urology


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen