Variables Potentially Involved in Prostate Growth Assessed

Study finds serum parathyroid hormone and calcium levels linked to prostate-specific antigen
By Eric Metcalf
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Nov. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Parathyroid hormone (PTH) and calcium levels may be linked to prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which could have implications for PSA screening for prostate cancer, according to research published in the November issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Halcyon G. Skinner, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and Gary G. Schwartz, Ph.D., of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., analyzed data from 1,273 men in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Participants over the age of 40 years and free of clinical prostate cancer underwent testing of PSA, serum calcium, and PTH.

The researchers found that higher PTH concentrations were associated with higher total and free PSA concentrations. Serum calcium was also significantly associated with free PSA. In addition, the percentage of men with elevated serum PTH levels (≥66 pg/mL) was significantly greater among African-American men than Caucasian men. Participants with a PTH of 66 pg/mL had a 43 percent higher PSA compared to men with a PTH of 10 pg/mL.

"If confirmed by other population-based studies, these findings have important implications for the use of PSA as a screening tool for prostate cancer. Men without prostate cancer who have high levels of serum PTH, especially older African-American men, may be more likely to receive prostate biopsy than are men with lower levels of serum PTH," the authors write.

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