The Truth about BPH

The truth about BPH, or Enlarged Prostate, may be a shocking one. It is a condition that is not well understood in the public domain and, while it is not life-threatening, it is certainly life-alternating.  BPH causes considerable quality of life issues in the men suffering from this disease.  The result is that many men find themselves forced to take medications for the rest of their lives or pursuing more invasive treatment options largely because they did not address their BPH symptoms in its early stages.

BPH affects the majority of men over the age of 50.  It is likely we all know a friend or family member who has been affected by BPH, but when was the last time you saw a concerted and widespread prostate awareness effort. With that in mind, it is worth exploring just a few of the many noteworthy impacts of BPH in the United States.

  1. Did you know that nocturia (getting up to urinate at night) is a huge risk factor for increased falls in elderly men? It is also one of the most common symptoms of BPH.1
  2. Did you know that toileting issues in the male population makes assisted living care choices fewer and far more expensive? This is especially important considering our aging population and the lack of widespread insurance coverage for long-term care. 2,3
  3. If you had to rank BPH in terms of all disease states in males between the ages of 40 and 85, where would it sit?  Top 20?  Top 10? How about top 5?  BPH is actually the 4th most commonly diagnosed disease in US aging men; right behind hypertension, coronary artery disease, and type 2 diabetes.4
  4. How much does it cost to treat BPH in this country?  One-year total disease-specific medical costs for BPH are actually on par with type 2 diabetes. 4

These alarming statistics punctuate the need for a more comprehensive public awareness campaign in the United States. Join us in spreading the word about this conditions and how it affects men and their significant others alike.

1Asplund R, Aberg H: Health of the elderly with regard to sleep and nocturnal micturition. Scand J Prim Health Care 1992; 10: 98.
2Tipton SE.  Incontinence in the Assisted Living Setting. National Association for Continence, In Focus Column 2005 – 1st Qtr, Vol 23 No 1
3Span P. Assisted Living or a Nursing Home?  New York Times June 10, 2011
4Fenter TC et al, The Cost of Treating the 10 Most Prevalent Diseases in Men 50 Years of Age or Older. The American Journal of Managed Care 2006; 12:S90-98