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AIM: Although prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening reduces mortality from prostate cancer, substantial over-diagnosis and subsequent overtreatment are concerns. Early screening of men for PSA may serve to stratify the male population by risk of future clinical prostate cancer. METHODS AND MATERIAL: Case-control study nested within the Danish 'Diet, Cancer and Health' cohort of 27,179 men aged 50-64 at enrolment. PSA measured in serum collected at cohort entry in 1993-1997 was used to evaluate prostate cancer risk diagnosed up to 14 years after. We identified 911 prostate cancer cases in the Danish Cancer Registry through 31st December 2007 1:1 age-matched with cancer-free controls. Aggressive cancer was defined as ≥ T3 or Gleason score ≥ 7 or N1 or M1. Statistical analyses were based on conditional logistic regression with age as underlying time axis. RESULTS: Total PSA and free-to-total PSA ratio at baseline were strongly associated with prostate cancer risk up to 14 years later. PSA was grouped in quintiles and free-to-total PSA ratio divided in three risk groups. The incidence rate ratio for prostate cancer was 150 (95% confidence interval, 72-310) among men with a total PSA in the highest quintile (> 5.1 ng/ml) compared to the lowest (< 0.80 ng/ml). The risk of aggressive cancer was highly elevated in men with a PSA level in the highest quintile. The results indicate that one-time measurement of PSA could be used in an individualised screening strategy, sparing a large proportion of men from further PSA-based screening.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Cancer

Publication Date





3041 - 3048


Baseline, Nested case–control study, Prostate neoplasm, Prostate-specific antigen, Risk factor, Aged, Case-Control Studies, Cohort Studies, Denmark, Diet, Humans, Incidence, Logistic Models, Male, Mass Screening, Middle Aged, Prostate-Specific Antigen, Prostatic Neoplasms, Risk Factors