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Prostate-specific antigen testing in inner London general practices: are those at higher risk most likely to get tested?
  1. Paul Nderitu1,
  2. Mieke Van Hemelrijck2,
  3. Mark Ashworth3,
  4. Rohini Mathur4,
  5. Sally Hull4,
  6. Alexandra Dudek1,
  7. Simon Chowdhury1
  1. 1Department of Oncology, Guy's Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2Cancer Epidemiology Group, Division of Cancer Studies, King's College London, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Primary Care and Public Health Sciences, King's College London, London, UK
  4. 4Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Paul Nderitu; p.nderitu{at}


Objectives To investigate the association between factors influencing prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing prevalence including prostate cancer risk factors (age, ethnicity, obesity) and non-risk factors (social deprivation and comorbidity).

Setting A cross-sectional database of 136 inner London general practices from 1 August 2009 to 31 July 2014.

Participants Men aged ≥40 years without prostate cancer were included (n=150 481).

Primary outcome Logistic regression analyses were used to estimate the association between PSA testing and age, ethnicity, social deprivation, body mass index (BMI) and comorbidity while adjusting for age, benign prostatic hypertrophy, prostatitis and tamsulosin or finasteride use.

Results PSA testing prevalence was 8.2% (2013–2014), and the mean age was 54 years (SD 11). PSA testing was positively associated with age (OR 70–74 years compared to 40–44 years: 7.34 (95% CI 6.82 to 7.90)), ethnicity (black) (OR compared to white: 1.78 (95% CI 1.71 to 1.85)), increasing BMI and cardiovascular comorbidity. Testing was negatively associated with Chinese ethnicity and with increasing social deprivation.

Conclusions PSA testing among black patients was higher compared to that among white patients, which differs from lower testing rates seen in previous studies. PSA testing was positively associated with prostate cancer risk factors and non-risk factors. Association with non-risk factors may increase the risk of unnecessary invasive diagnostic procedures.

  • Prostate-specific antigen
  • testing prevalence
  • general practice
  • prostate cancer
  • ethnicity
  • comorbidity

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