Background: To extend our previous observation of a short-term rise in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) concentration, a marker of prostate inflammation and cell damage, during and immediately following sexually transmitted and systemic infections, we examined the longer-term influence of these infections, both individually and cumulatively, on PSA over a mean of 10 years of follow-up in young active duty U.S. servicemen. Methods: We measured PSA in serum specimens collected in 1995-7 (baseline) and 2004-6 (follow-up) from 265 men diagnosed with chlamydia (CT), 72 with gonorrhea (GC), 37 with non-chlamydial, non-gonococcal urethritis (NCNGU), 58 with infectious mononucleosis (IM), 91 with other systemic or non-genitourinary infections such as varicella; and 125-258 men with no infectious disease diagnoses in their medical record during follow-up (controls). We examined the influence of these infections on PSA change between baseline and follow-up. Results: The proportion of men with any increase in PSA (>0 ng/mL) over the 10-year average follow-up was significantly higher in men with histories of sexually transmitted infections (CT, GC, and NCNGU; 67.7% vs 60.8%, P = 0.043), systemic infections (66.7% vs 54.4%, P = 0.047), or any infections (all cases combined; 68.5% vs 54.4%, P = 0.003) in their military medical record compared to controls. Conclusions: While PSA has been previously shown to rise during acute infection, these findings demonstrate that PSA remains elevated over a longer period. Additionally, the overall infection burden, rather than solely genitourinary-specific infection burden, contributed to these long-term changes, possibly implying a role for the cumulative burden of infections in prostate cancer risk.
- infectious mononucleosis
- prostate cancer
- sexually transmitted infection