(HealthDay News) — Rates of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing increased significantly after the 2017 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) draft statement on prostate cancer screening, reversing trends that resulted from earlier guidance discouraging testing, according to a study published online in JAMA Oncology.

Michael S. Leapman, MD, from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and colleagues used deidentified claims data from Blue Cross Blue Shield beneficiaries (aged 40 to 89 years) from 2013 through 2019 to evaluate changes in rates of PSA testing after revisions in the USPSTF guideline on prostate cancer screening.

The researchers found that from 2016 to 2019, the mean rate of PSA testing increased from 32.5 to 36.5 tests per 100 person-years, a relative increase of 12.5%. During the same period, mean rates of PSA testing increased from 20.6 to 22.7 tests per 100 person-years among men aged 40 to 54 years (relative increase, 10.1%), from 49.8 to 55.8 tests per 100 person-years among men aged 55 to 69 years (relative increase, 12.1%), and from 38.0 to 44.2 tests per 100 person-years among men aged 70 to 89 years (relative increase, 16.2%). After April 2017, there was a significantly increasing trend of PSA testing among all beneficiaries (0.30 tests per 100 person-years for each bimonthly period).

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“The findings of increased screening outside of target age categories, including those for whom screening remains discouraged by the task force and other clinical guidelines, can again focus efforts to improve the quality of prostate cancer screening,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

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