Baseline PSA levels reliably and independently predicts death from prostate cancer, with a baseline reading of 4 ng/mL or higher linked with greater mortality risk. In 4,568 men diagnosed with the disease over a recent 20-year period, those with baseline PSA levels of 4.0-9.9 ng/mL were three times more likely to die from prostate cancer than men with lower values, researchers Ping Tang, MD, and colleagues reported online in Cancer.

The mortality risk was 11 times higher when the baseline PSA value was greater than 10 ng/mL compared with values below 2.5 ng/mL. African-American men and men at advanced age at baseline PSA measurement had higher death rates from prostate cancer and all causes.