Purpose: The level of serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) varies according to both age and race. It is known that the level of PSA increases with age, and that Asians have a lower incidence of prostate cancer and levels of PSA than Caucasians. In this study, the variation in the serum PSA level in samples collected from general populations were used to find an actual standard age-specific PSA reference range for Koreans. Materials and Methods: Patients who received serum PSA level check-ups, between November 1998 and July 2005, at 8 domestic hospitals, were selected for the investigation. The PSA levels of 120,439 adult males, aged between 30 and 80 years, were measured, and those lower than 10ng/ml were analyzed. To estimate the increase in the level of serum PSA according to age, a simple linear regression analysis was carried out. Results: The mean PSA level reference ranges according to age were 1.88, 1.92, 2.37, 3.56 and 5.19ng/ml for those in their thirties, forties, fifties, sixties and seventies, respectively. The rates of PSA change were 0.0023, 0.0175 and 0.0499 for those in their forties, fifties and sixties, respectively, indicating the rates of PSA level change increase steady with age, but these increases are greater for those in their fifties and most severe after their sixties. The level of age-specific PSA reference in Korean men was lower than that of men from Western countries. Conclusions: The age-specific PSA reference levels, as found in pre-existing literature, showed differences between races, with the overall reference levels being low for domestic data. The standard reference level of age-specific PSA for the screening of prostate cancer may be lower in Korean men than those from Western countries.
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