Studies have reported lower prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels in men with a higher body mass index (BMI). Additional factors such as diabetes mellitus, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and certain medications may also affect PSA levels and confound the PSA–BMI association. In this study we evaluated the potential confounding effect of these factors on the obesity–PSA relationship and evaluated the association between these factors and PSA level.
The study cohort consisted of 770 population-based controls without a history of prostate cancer (PCa) who participated in a prior PCa study. Demographic, anthropometric, and medical history data were obtained, and PSA level was determined from blood drawn at the time of interview. Linear regression was performed to evaluate the PSA–BMI relationship, adjusting for potential confounders. Finally, a forward stepwise algorithm was used to determine which factors were independently associated with PSA values.
With increase in BMI (<25, 25–29, ≥30), the geometric mean PSA level declined (1.18, 1.13, and 0.94, respectively); obese men had a 17% (95% CI 0.70–0.99) lower age-adjusted PSA level compared to normal weight men. However, this relationship was non-significant (P = 0.17) in the multivariate model. Independent predictors of PSA level included age (β = 1.03, 95% CI 1.02–1.04), history of BPH (β = 1.48, 95% CI 1.27–1.72), current statin (β = 0.85, 95% CI 0.74–0.98), and NSAID use (β = 0.84, 95% CI 0.72–0.98).
The relationship between obesity and PSA is confounded by a number of factors, which likely explain the observed inverse association previously reported. These results should help in interpreting PSA values in men screened for PCa. Prostate 71:1631–1637, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.