Background: Studies have examined prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and digital rectal examination (DRE) use among men; however, few have examined use of these procedures together over time. This study examined use of the PSA test and DRE among men over time and identified correlates associated with test use for the PSA test only, the DRE only, and both procedures combined.
Methods: The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) collected information on prostate cancer test use among 229,574 men aged 40 or older over 3 years (2002, 2004, and 2006). Patterns of PSA test and DRE use were examined overall and by selected demographic and health-related characteristics. Correlates of recent PSA test and DRE use were determined using logistic regression.
Results: Overall trends for years 2002-2006 were a significant increase for PSA use only and a significant decrease of PSA and DRE use combined. Having had a recent PSA test (within 2 years) only; a recent DRE only; or both tests varied by sociodemographic and health-related variables, including age, race/ethnicity, marital status, levels of education and income, body mass index, health insurance status, and having a personal doctor or health care provider.
Conclusion: Although major organizations are not in agreement about the efficacy of prostate cancer screening, the PSA test and DRE continue to be utilized regularly by a majority of American men over age 40. PSA test and DRE use in this population provide a basis for addressing issues related to screening.