The Relationship Between PSA and Your Cholesterol Levels

Lowering your cholesterol and triglyceride levels is not just good for lowering your risk of heart disease, it may also help decrease your elevated PSA levels. PSA, short for prostate-specific antigen, is a marker commonly used to gauge prostate health in men and can be used to determine the possible presence of prostate cancer or other medical conditions involving the prostate.

The higher your PSA levels are, the higher your risk is of having prostate cancer or an enlarged prostate. Although there are instances where PSA levels may be high and prostate cancer is not present, it is still ideal to have PSA levels as low as possible. There have a few studies that have emerged that suggest that there may be a relationship between your cholesterol levels and your PSA levels.

Man with doctor
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Cholesterol and PSA Levels

A few studies in men found that, after beginning statin therapy to lower LDL cholesterol levels, PSA levels decreased by between 4 and 40%. One study suggested that for every 10% decrease in cholesterol brought about by statins, PSA levels dropped by about 1.6 ng/mL. This relationship appears to be most noted in white men, but not black men. In white men, increased serum prostate serum antigen was associated with increased total cholesterol levels and LDL cholesterol levels. However, studies have not established a relationship between PSA and HDL cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

Can Lowering Your Cholesterol Levels Lower Your PSA Levels?

As of now, there isn’t enough evidence to establish a clear relationship or meaning between elevated PSA levels and high cholesterol levels. Although it appears that lowering high cholesterol levels may lower PSA levels, it is not currently known what type of effect this would have on the risk of prostate cancer or disease. Additionally, it is not known if lowering your lipid levels lowers your risk of having one of these medical conditions or if the disease is present despite lowered PSA levels by cholesterol-lowering therapy.

The studies examining the relationship between cholesterol and PSA used a statin to lower cholesterol levels. Therefore, it may not be the relationship between cholesterol and PSA that warrants further investigation but the use of statins in prostate health. Statins have unique properties besides lowering lipids that include reducing inflammation. Until further studies are conducted, it is not definitively known if elevated cholesterol levels also correspond with high PSA levels and what this relationship could mean.

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  • Hamilton RJ, Goldberg KC, Platz EA, et al. The influence of statin medications on prostate-specific antigen levels. J Natl Cancer Inst 2008;100:1511-1518.
  • Hamilton RJ, Platz EA, Goldberg KC, Freedland SJ. The association between cholesterol and PSA. J Urol 2008; 179: 721 abstract 2094.
  • YuPeng L, YuXue Z, PengFei L, eta l. Cholesterol levels in blood and the risk of prostate cancer: a meta-analysis of 14 prospective studies. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2015; 24: 1086-1093.
  • Zapata D, Howard LE, Allott EH et al. Is PSA related to serum cholesterol and does the relationship differ between black and white men? Prostate 2015; 75: 1877-1885.

By Jennifer Moll, PharmD
Jennifer Moll, MS, PharmD, is a pharmacist actively involved in educating patients about the importance of heart disease prevention.