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Obesity And High Blood Sugar Linked To Prostate Enlargement

Source: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, July 2006

The risk of developing benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), a common condition in older men, increases with obesity and high blood sugar levels.

BPH can lead to troublesome difficulty with urination – urgency, discomfort, and incomplete voiding. The condition can be relieved surgically or by taking medication. Researchers from the University of California San Diego report that BPH is a significant public health problem. They found that with the current epidemics of obesity and diabetes, BPH would pose even a greater problem in the near future.

The researchers examined the association between BPH and factors such as obesity, blood glucose concentration and diabetes, with MRI measurement of prostate volumes in 422 men aged 27 to 84 years.

It was found that 91 (22 percent) of these participants had enlarged prostates. Men with enlarged prostates were heavier and had a higher age-adjusted body mass index (BMI) than men without enlarged prostates. Each 1-point rise in BMI was associated with a 0.41 cubic centimeter increase in prostate volume. Very obese men were especially likely to have an enlarged prostate, with 3.5-times the risk compared with their normal-weight counterparts.

Blood glucose concentration was also associated with the risk of prostate enlargement. Those with elevated glucose had 3-times the risk of having an enlarged prostate. Diabetics were more than twice as likely to have prostate enlargement as compared to men without diabetes.

The findings suggest that obesity and poorly controlled diabetes are risk factors for benign prostatic hyperplasia.