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Shedding Light On An Enlarged Prostate

Source:, July 2006

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), an enlargement of the prostate gland, affects more than half of men in their 60s and as many as 90 percent of men in their 70s and 80s, according to the National Institutes of Health. The condition occurs when the prostate gland enlarges and the tissue around it stops expanding. As a result, the walnut-sized gland presses against the urethra, which connects the bladder to the outside of the body, and the bladder. This causes the bladder to contract and trigger frequent urination. While the cause of BPH isn’t clear, research at the University of California-San Diego, report that men who have elevated blood glucose, diabetes, or are obese may be at increased risk for BPH. The researchers found that very obese men were 3.5 times more likely to have an enlarged prostate, compared to those with elevated glucose (three times more likely) and men with diabetes (two times more likely), than men without any of these conditions. A man’s overall obesity was a stronger risk factor for BPH than was central obesity, (where the fat is located around the abdomen and upper body). Research studied 422 men ages 27 to 84, with a mean age of 58, who were participating in The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging.