A lot of health problems can be caused by chronic obesity. However, it can also affect your test results for cancer, says this study. Using data from 970 South Australian men from the Florey Adelaide Male Ageing Study, Dr Adel Aref from the University’s Adelaide Medical School studied the effects of obesity on PSA levels detected in blood and the influence of the hormones, testosterone and estrogen.
“Elevated levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in the blood can be an indicator of prostate cancer and lead to further diagnostic investigations,” says Dr Aref.
PSA is increased by the male sex steroid hormone, testosterone. “We have shown for the first time that the concentration of PSA in the blood is lower in men with severe obesity (with a body mass index or BMI of 30 or higher) than in lean men, and that this can be attributed to lower concentrations of circulating testosterone”.
“The results of this study have important implications for how we should interpret PSA levels in men who are obese,” said project supervisor Professor Gary Wittert.