Finger Length Ratio Suggestive of Prostate Cancer Risk


A new study from doctors at Gachon University Gil Hospital, in Incheon, South Korea published in British Journal of Urology online suggests that men with an increased long ring finger to index finger ratio could be three times more likely to develop prostate cancer.

Dr. Tae Beom Kim, Department of Urology, and colleagues enrolled 366 men over the age of 40 who presented with lower urinary tract symptoms including problems urinating prospectively into the study. All then had their right-hand 2nd and 4th digit lengths measured prior to the PSA determinations and transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS).

Prostate volumes were measured by TRUS without information about digit length. Patients with a PSA level ≥3 ng/mL underwent prostate biopsy.

The researchers found no relationship was found between prostate volume and digit ratio, but did note a significant negative correlations were found between digit ratio and PSA.


Patients were divided into two groups: Group A (index/long digit ratio <0.95, n= 184) and Group B (digit ratio ≥0.95, n= 182). The Group A men (those with a ring finger longer than their index finger) had a two-fold higher mean PSA level than Group B (3.26 ± 5.54 ng/mL vs 1.89 ± 2.24 ng/mL, P= 0.002).

The men who needed a prostate biopsy (PSA greater than 3 ng/mL) and found to have prostate cancer were three times as likely to be in Group A than Group B (OR = 3.22, 95% CI = 1.33–7.78).

This study does not make finger ratio measurements a good screening for prostate cancer. It is a very small study which found an association between finger length ratio and prostate cancer risk, but tells us nothing about whether the ratio can be used to reliably predict that risk.

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Second to fourth digit ratio: a predictor of prostate-specific antigen level and the presence of prostate cancer; Han Jung, Khae Hawn Kim, Sang Jin Yoon and Tae Beom Kim; BJU International published Online: Jul 13 2010, DOI: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2010.09490.x