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Risks of Developing BPH

Despite its prevalence, Benign Prostatic  Hyperplasia (BPH)  is not well understood. We know that a man’s prostate increases in size as he ages, but we are still learning about other risks factors in developing or worsening BPH. Dozens of studies have been performed to examine risk factors, but a complete list has yet to be realized. The list below represents general risk factors and protective factors that may play a role in BPH. This list is not comprehensive, nor does it guarantee a patient will or will not have BPH. Patients should be evaluated by a qualified physician or urologist to learn more.

Generally Accepted Risk Factors1

Age. By far the greatest risk factor of developing BPH is age. Beginning when a man turns 25 to the end of his life, his prostate will grow. Prostate growth can play a large role in the severity of BPH.

Diabetes: Men with diabetes are significantly more likely to develop BPH or experience worsening symptoms.

Obesity and Excess Weight. The higher a man’s BMI (body mass index) the greater the circumference of his waistline, the greater the risk for him developing BPH. This may occur because obesity is a leading cause of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Diet. A diet high in saturated fats, red meat and refined sugars can worsen the symptoms of BPH.

Possible, but poorly understood risk factors

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking – smoking itself may not increase the risk of BPH, however the follow-on health effects of smoking may

Adopting a healthy lifestyle may be one way to help reduce the risk of developing or worsening BPH. Increased physical activity and eating a healthy diet by avoiding highly processed foods and turning to lean proteins, vegetables, fruits and whole grains may help mitigate BPH symptoms.

1https://www.clinicalkey.com/topics/urology/benign-prostatic-hyperplasia.html Website accessed July 2014