Use of the prostate-specific antigen test among men aged 75 years or older in the United States: 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

Prev Chronic Dis. 2010 Jul;7(4):A84. Epub 2010 Jun 15.


Introduction: In 2008, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) updated prostate cancer screening guidelines to recommend against screening for prostate cancer in men aged 75 years or older. We describe the prevalence of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing in this population and identify factors that may be correlated with the use of this test.

Methods: Data came from the 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. We assessed the status of PSA testing in the past year among 9,033 US men aged 76 or older who had no history of prostate cancer. We conducted descriptive and multiple logistic regression analyses to assess associations of PSA testing with certain sociodemographic and psychosocial factors.

Results: Overall, 60% of men aged 76 or older reported having a PSA test in the past year. Men who had health insurance, were satisfied with life, or always had emotional support were significantly more likely to report having a PSA test in the past year. However, men who had no routine health checkup; were divorced, widowed, or separated; or had less than a high school education were significantly less likely to report having had a PSA test.

Conclusion: PSA testing is common among men aged 75 or older in the United States. Certain sociodemographic and psychosocial factors were associated with receipt of this test. This study may not only provide baseline data to evaluate acceptance and implementation of the USPSTF screening guidelines but may also help physicians and public health providers better understand these sociodemographic and psychosocial factors in this population.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System*
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Insurance, Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / analysis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Social Support
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen