Are BPH and LUTS “inexorable consequences of aging”?

Historically, the answer has been yes. However, accumulating evidence suggests that lifestyle factors may influence the risk of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in older men. In a review of literature on both disorders dating back to 1966, a California researcher found that the role of some factors — high blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking, diet, and environmental exposure — in the rise of BPH and LUTS remains unclear because data are limited and contradictory. However, he did find that obesity and diabetes seemed to significantly increase the risk of both conditions; conversely, physical activity and moderate alcohol consumption appeared protective. The findings suggest that clinicians can work with their patients to prevent BPH and LUTS. Future research might point to new avenues for diagnosis and treatment.

Source: Parsons JK. Modifiable Risk Factors for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms: New Approaches to Old Problems. Journal of Urology 2007;178:395–401. PMID: 17561143.

Originally published Oct. 1, 2007; Last reviewed April 18, 2011

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