Purpose: We describe treatments for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) among men participating in the Olmsted County study of urinary symptoms and health status among men during 10,000 person-years of followup.
Materials and methods: A cohort of 2,115 men 40 to 79 years old was randomly selected from an enumeration of the Olmsted County, Minnesota population (55% response rate). Participants completed a previously validated baseline questionnaire to assess symptom severity and voided into a portable urometer. A 25% random subsample underwent transrectal sonographic imaging of the prostate to determine prostate volume and measurement of serum prostate specific antigen. Followup included retrospective review of community medical records and completion of a biennial questionnaire to determine the occurrence of medical and surgical treatment for BPH in the subsequent 6 years.
Results: During more than 10,000 person-years of followup 167 men were treated, yielding an overall incidence of 16.0/1,000 person-years. There was a strong age related increase in risk of any treatment from 3.3/1,000 person-years for men 40 to 49 years old to more than 30/1,000 person-years for those 70 years old or older. Men with moderate to severe symptoms (American Urological Association symptom index greater than 7), depressed peak urinary flow rates (less than 12 ml. per second), enlarged prostate (greater than 30 ml.) or elevated serum prostate specific antigen (1.4 ng./ml. or greater) had about 4 times the risk of BPH treatment than those who did not. After adjustment for all measures simultaneously an enlarged prostate (hazard ratio 2.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1, 4.7), depressed peak flow rate (hazard ratio 2.7, 95% CI 1.4, 5.3) and moderate to severe symptoms (hazard ratio 5.3, 95% CI 2.5, 11.1) at baseline each independently predicted subsequent treatment.
Conclusions: While repeat contact and availability of urological measurements during the study period may have influenced treatment decisions in this cohort, the data demonstrate that treatment is common in elderly men with nearly 1 in 4 receiving treatment in the eighth decade of life. Furthermore, these data suggest that men with moderate to severe lower urinary tract symptoms, impaired flow rates or enlarged prostates are more likely to undergo treatment, with increases in risk of similar magnitude to those associated with adverse outcomes, such as acute urinary retention.