Beware: obesity affects PSA results

New findings have important implications for detecting the disease

The PSA test may be affected by obesity, according to new results that could have important implications for detecting and monitoring the disease.

Using data from 970 men aged 35-plus, SA researchers looked at the effects of obesity on PSA levels and the influence of testosterone and oestrogen.

After adjusting for age, they found that PSA levels were lower in obese men, especially those with greater waist circumference.

"The findings indicate that lower PSA levels in obese men, as compared to normal-weight men, can be explained both by hormonal changes (elevated E2/T ratio) and haemodilution,” write the researchers, led by PhD student and medical oncologist Dr Adel Aref from Adelaide University.

“Hormonal factors therefore represent a substantial but underappreciated mediating pathway.”

The authors note that the results of their work have important implications for how PSA levels in

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