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USPSTF Guidelines Haven't Changed PSA Screening Practice

Screening rates for men over 75 years were unchanged from 2005 to 2010

TUESDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the 2008 changes in U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations against prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-based screening for prostate cancer in men 75 years or older, screening rates remained unchanged for men of all ages between 2005 and 2010, according to a research letter published in the April 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Sandip M. Prasad, M.D., M.Phil., of the University of Chicago Medical Center, and colleagues examined demographic, socioeconomic, and functional variables collected from men (aged 40 years or older) free of prostate cancer or other prostate-related conditions. The men participated in the 2005 (5,332 participants) and 2010 (4,640 participants) National Health Interview Survey and had visited a physician in the prior year.

The researchers found that PSA screening rates were unchanged over time in all age groups. PSA screening was unchanged between 2005 and 2010 in men 75 years and older (43.0 and 43.9 percent, respectively). PSA screening was more common in men aged 75 years or older (43.9 percent) than in men aged 40 to 49 years or 50 to 59 in 2010 (12.5 and 33.2 percent, respectively). But men aged 60 to 74 years had the highest screening rate (51.2 percent).

"The discrepancy between the USPSTF recommendation and subsequent practice patterns may reflect lack of guideline awareness, financial incentives, or patient or physician confidence in PSA screening," the authors conclude.

One of the authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies.

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