Korean J Fam Pract.  2021 Dec;11(6):472-477. 10.21215/kjfp.2021.11.6.472.

Comparison of Prostate Specific Antigen between Catholic Priests and the Public Using Health Screening Data

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Yeouido St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Family Medicine, St. Vincent’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Family Medicine, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea

Abstract

Background
Religion can affect physical health by changing personal lifestyle. This study aimed to indirectly observe the effect of an abstinent lifestyle on prostate cancer incidence by comparing prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels between Catholic priests and the general public.
Methods
A retrospective study was conducted on 1,171 Catholic priests aged between 31 and 80 years who underwent medical examinations at three hospitals in Korea from 2010 to 2018, and 9,487 non-cleric were selected as a control group. The mean PSA levels were compared with Catholic priests and the general public by age.
Results
Compared with the general public, the Catholic priests had significantly higher body mass index, waist circumference, body fat mass, uric acid levels, lipid levels, white blood cell count, C-reactive protein level, age, and PSA level (P<0.05). The odds ratios of PSA levels being 4.0 or 2.5 ng/mL or more in Catholic priests and the control group were observed, but there was no statistical difference. There was no difference even after adjusting for covariates.
Conclusion
There was no difference in the PSA level elevation between the Catholic priests and the general public. Despite the positive effects of an abstinent lifestyle, additional factors, such as increased BMI, body fat mass, and waist circumference, would affect PSA levels. However, follow-up studies are needed to confirm a causal relationship.

Keyword

Clergy; Prostate-Specific Antigen; Religion; Prostate Cancer
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