Importance: Black men have higher prostate cancer incidence and mortality than non-Hispanic White men. However, Black men have been underrepresented in clinical trials of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening; thus, there is a lack of data to guide screening recommendations for this population.
Objective: To assess whether PSA screening is associated with reduced risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality (PCSM) among non-Hispanic Black men.
Design, setting, and participants: This retrospective cohort study used data from the US Veterans Health Administration Informatics and Computing Infrastructure for men aged 55 to 69 years who self-identified as non-Hispanic Black or non-Hispanic White and were diagnosed with intermediate-, high-, or very high-risk prostate cancer from January 1, 2004, to December 31, 2017. Data were analyzed from August 2021 to March 2022.
Exposures: Prostate-specific antigen screening rate, defined as the percentage of years in which PSA screening was conducted during the 5 years before diagnosis of prostate cancer.
Main outcomes and measures: The primary outcome was risk of PCSM among Black men and White men. The association between PSA screening and risk of PCSM was assessed using Fine-Gray regression analysis. Risk of PCSM was also assessed categorically among patients classified as having no prior PSA screening, some screening (less than annual), or annual screening in the 5 years before diagnosis.
Results: The study included 45 834 veterans (mean [SD] age, 62.7 [3.8] years), of whom 14 310 (31%) were non-Hispanic Black men and 31 524 (69%) were non-Hispanic White men. The PSA screening rate was associated with a lower risk of PCSM among Black men (subdistribution hazard ratio [sHR], 0.56; 95% CI, 0.41-0.76; P = .001) and White men (sHR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.46-0.75; P = .001). On subset analysis, annual screening (vs some screening) was associated with a significant reduction in risk of PCSM among Black men (sHR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.46-0.92; P = .02) but not among White men (sHR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.74-1.11; P = .35).
Conclusions and relevance: In this cohort study, PSA screening was associated with reduced risk of PCSM among non-Hispanic Black men and non-Hispanic White men. Annual screening was associated with reduced risk of PCSM among Black men but not among White men, suggesting that annual screening may be particularly important for Black men. Further research is needed to identify appropriate populations and protocols to maximize the benefits of PSA screening.