Changes in prostate-specific antigen at the time of prostate cancer diagnosis after Medicaid expansion in young men

Adam B. Weiner*, Amanda X. Vo, Anuj S. Desai, Jim C. Hu, Daniel E. Spratt, Edward M. Schaeffer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: The objective of this study was to determine the effect of Medicaid expansion under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (January 1, 2014) on the epidemiology of high-risk prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels (≥20 ng/mL) at the time of prostate cancer (PCa) diagnosis. The authors hypothesized that better access to care would result in a reduction of high-risk features at diagnosis. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed of 122,324 men aged <65 years who were diagnosed with PCa within the National Cancer Database. Difference-in-difference (DID) analyses adjusting for sociodemographic variables using linear regression compared PSA levels at diagnosis before expansion (2012-2013) and after expansion (2015-2016) between men residing in states that did or did not expand Medicaid. Results: From 2012 to 2016, the proportion of men with PSA levels ≥20 ng/mL increased (from 18.9% to 19.8%) in nonexpansion states and decreased (from 19.9% to 18.2%) in expansion states. Compared with men in nonexpansion states, men in expansion states experienced a decline in PSA ≥20 ng/mL (DID, −2.33%; 95% CI, −3.21% to −1.44%; P <.001). Accordingly, the proportion of men presenting with high-risk disease decreased in expansion states relative to nonexpansion states (DID, −1.25%; 95% CI, −2.26% to 0.25%; P =.015). A similar statistically significant decrease in PSA levels ≥20 ng/mL was noted among black men (DID, −3.11%; 95% CI, −5.25% to 0.96%; P =.005). Conclusions: In Medicaid expansion states, there was an associated decrease in the proportion of young men presenting with PSA ≥20 ng/mL at the time of PCa diagnosis. These results suggest that Medicaid expansion improved access to PCa screening. Longer term data should assess oncologic outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3229-3236
Number of pages8
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 15 2020


  • Medicaid
  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
  • United States
  • epidemiology
  • prostatic neoplasms
  • young adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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