Association of black race with follow-up of an abnormal prostate-specific antigen test

J Natl Med Assoc. 2011 Feb;103(2):150-7. doi: 10.1016/s0027-9684(15)30264-9.


Delayed evaluation after a clearly abnormal prostate-specific antigen (PSA) result may contribute to more advanced prostate cancer at diagnosis in black men. In 46 primary care practices over a period of 4.5 years, we studied men aged more than 50 years without known prostate cancer who had a PSA of at least 10.0 ng/mL for the first time. PSA follow-up included: a urology appointment, a new prostate diagnosis, or repeat PSA test. Cox proportional hazards models assessed time to follow-up, adjusting for demographic, clinical, and health care factors with censoring at a time that represents excessive delay (200 days). Among all 724 study men (27% black), delay until PSA follow-up averaged 115.2 days (+/- 79.7 d) and the unadjusted hazard ratio (HR) for follow-up was shorter for black men than nonblack men (HR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.00-1.51). However, black men were more likely to have had prior urology care and had higher index PSA levels than other men; both factors were associated with shorter follow-up. After adjustment, delay did not differ for black vs nonblack race (HR, 1.05; 95% Cl, 0.78-1.43) but men aged at least 75 years had a longer delay than men aged 74 years or less (HR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.59-0.89). Despite black men having greater risk of advanced prostate disease at diagnosis and better linkage to urologic care, follow-up was delayed, on average, by more than 3 months and did not differ by race. These results reveal a potentially important, remediable factor to improve prostate cancer prevention and care for black men.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blacks*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pennsylvania
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen