Ethnicity is an independent determinant of age-specific PSA level: findings from a multiethnic Asian setting

PLoS One 2014; 9: e104917

Author

Lim J, Bhoo-Pathy N, Sothilingam S, Malek R, Sundram M, Hisham Bahadzor B, Ong TA, Ng KL, Sivalingam S, Razack AH

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To study the baseline PSA profile and determine the factors influencing the PSA levels within a multiethnic Asian setting. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 1054 men with no clinical evidence of prostate cancer, prostate surgery or 5alpha-reductase inhibitor treatment of known prostate conditions. The serum PSA concentration of each subject was assayed. Potential factors associated with PSA level including age, ethnicity, height, weight, family history of prostate cancer, lower urinary tract voiding symptoms (LUTS), prostate volume and digital rectal examination (DRE) were evaluated using univariable and multivariable analysis. RESULTS: There were 38 men (3.6%) found to have a PSA level above 4 ng/ml and 1016 (96.4%) with a healthy PSA (≤4 ng/ml). The median PSA level of Malay, Chinese and Indian men was 1.00 ng/ml, 1.16 ng/ml and 0.83 ng/ml, respectively. Indians had a relatively lower median PSA level and prostate volume than Malays and Chinese, who shared a comparable median PSA value across all 10-years age groups. The PSA density was fairly similar amongst all ethnicities. Further analysis showed that ethnicity, weight and prostate volume were independent factors associated with age specific PSA level in the multivariable analysis (p<0.05). CONCLUSION: These findings support the concept that the baseline PSA level varies between different ethnicities across all age groups. In addition to age and prostate volume, ethnicity may also need to be taken into account when investigating serum PSA concentrations in the multiethnic Asian population.


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