Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: We previously reported that a single prostate-specific antigen (PSA) measured at ages 44-50 was highly predictive of subsequent prostate cancer diagnosis in an unscreened population. Here we report an additional 7 years of follow-up. This provides replication using an independent data set and allows estimates of the association between early PSA and subsequent advanced cancer (clinical stage ≥T3 or metastases at diagnosis). METHODS: Blood was collected from 21,277 men in a Swedish city (74% participation rate) during 1974-1986 at ages 33-50. Through 2006, prostate cancer was diagnosed in 1408 participants; we measured PSA in archived plasma for 1312 of these cases (93%) and for 3728 controls. RESULTS: At a median follow-up of 23 years, baseline PSA was strongly associated with subsequent prostate cancer (area under the curve, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.70-0.74; for advanced cancer, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.72-0.78). Associations between PSA and prostate cancer were virtually identical for the initial and replication data sets, with 81% of advanced cases (95% CI, 77%-86%) found in men with PSA above the median (0.63 ng/mL at ages 44-50). CONCLUSIONS: A single PSA at or before age 50 predicts advanced prostate cancer diagnosed up to 30 years later. Use of early PSA to stratify risk would allow a large group of low-risk men to be screened less often but increase frequency of testing on a more limited number of high-risk men. This is likely to improve the ratio of benefit to harm for screening.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1210 - 1219


Adult, Age Factors, Blood Chemical Analysis, Carcinoma, Case-Control Studies, Early Detection of Cancer, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Staging, Prognosis, Prostate-Specific Antigen, Prostatic Neoplasms