A new study shows obese men generally have lower prostate specific antigen levels than men of normal weight. However researchers say this finding suggests the PSA test may not be as good at identifying early prostate cancer in such men.
Researchers studied about 2,800 men with no evidence of prostate cancer. Results showed PSA levels declined as weight increased. The association held true across all age groups and throughout all races. A study done in 2003 showed that men with the highest body mass indexes were 34-percent more likely to develop the disease than those with lower BMIs. Other studies have also shown poorer outcomes for obese men diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Hence researchers believe their present study suggests one reason why obese men with the disease fare worse than their thinner counterparts the reason being that low PSA levels mean they are diagnosed at a later stage and when the condition is more difficult to treat.
Thus researchers suggest that doctors take this factor into account when deciding if a PSA level deserves further investigation in order to assess whether consideration of BMI in PSA interpretation results in earlier detection and, ultimately, in better prostate carcinoma prognosis for obese men.