Men taking anxiety and depression medications were more likely to undergo prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing, according to findings presented at the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

To investigate the association between anti-anxiety and antidepressant use and PSA testing, researchers used 2018 data from the National Health Interview Survey, which asked respondents to report on whether they had undergone PSA testing and how often they tested in the previous 5 years. The answers were then stratified by whether the respondent used psychotropic medications or not.

“We performed multivariable logistic regression analysis to define adjusted odds ratios of undergoing PSA testing adjusting for relevant socio-economic and demographic parameters,” the researchers explained.

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There were 5035 participants in the study; 2.9% reported taking anxiety medications, 2.1% reported depression medication use, and 5.5% reported use of both. Findings showed a significantly higher rate of PSA testing among men taking anxiety and depression medications vs those not on these medications (P =.002).

The average number of PSA tests in the past 5 years was also found to be highest among men taking both anxiety and depression drugs (P <.0001).

Additionally, results of the multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that the odds of undergoing PSA testing were greater for men who took medications for both depression and anxiety vs those who did not (OR, 1.755, P =.001).

The analysis also demonstrated that age, living with a spouse, and cancer history increased the likelihood of PSA testing. Factors associated with lower odds of testing included being a minority, living in the south, and smoking.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that further investigation into the association between anxiety and depression medication use and PSA testing is warranted, “especially due to the rising use of these medications in the current era of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Disclosure: Some study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.


Khan A, Goldberg H, Pinkhasov O, et al. The association of the use of anxiety and depression medications with PSA testing. Presented at: 2022 ASCO Genitourinary Cancers Symposium; February 17-19, 2022; San Francisco, CA.

This article originally appeared on MPR