Purpose: The treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a common problem faced by aging men, has changed dramatically during the last decade. While BPH has long been considered a surgical condition, the advent of less invasive therapies makes the evaluation of the use of these various treatments important. Thus, this population based study was undertaken to describe the incidence and treatment for BPH from 1987 to 1997 among residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota.
Materials and methods: We identified all Olmsted County men with a new diagnosis of BPH from 1987 to 1997 through the Medical and Surgical Indices made available through the Rochester Epidemiology Project. Overall year and age specific incidence rates were calculated for diagnosed BPH and by treatment type (surgical, minimally invasive, pharmacological, watchful waiting) assuming all men of the Olmsted County population to be at risk. Temporal changes in incidence were analyzed by Poisson regression.
Results: From 1987 to 1997, 2,330 cases of BPH were identified representing an age adjusted, corrected incidence for BPH among male residents of Olmsted County of 854.7 per 100,000 men. While the incidence of BPH increased from 1987 to 1992, coinciding with the introduction of serum prostate specific antigen testing, and subsequently decreased through 1997, the overall incidence of BPH decreased during the 10-year period for the entire cohort (p =0.002). Although the incidence of watchful waiting appeared to increase in the mid 1990s, significant decreases in age adjusted incidence were observed for the period overall (p <0.001). Significant decreases in surgical treatments were observed (p <0.0001). In contrast, there were significant increases in the age adjusted rates of pharmacological treatments during the 10 years (p <0.0001). No significant differences in incidence patterns of treatment type over time were observed by age group.
Conclusions: The introduction of serum prostate specific antigen testing as a screening tool for prostate cancer along with the advent of less invasive alternatives, including pharmacological therapy, have had a significant impact on the incidence of diagnosed BPH in the last decade.