Association of clinical benign prostate hyperplasia with prostate cancer incidence and mortality revisited: a nationwide cohort study of 3,009,258 men

Eur Urol. 2011 Oct;60(4):691-8. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2011.06.016. Epub 2011 Jun 25.


Background: Although benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer (PCa) share features such as hormone-dependent growth and response to treatment with antiandrogen therapy, BPH is generally not considered a premalignant lesion.

Objective: To determine whether clinical BPH is associated with an increased risk of PCa incidence and mortality.

Design, setting, and participants: Using designs with individual participant data from five national registries, we studied the entire Danish male population from 1980 through 2006, a total of 3,009,258 Danish men. We collected PCa diagnoses (n=53,315), information on PCa mortality (n=25,459), and ascertained clinical BPH (not histologically proven BPH) through hospitalization (n=187,591) and/or surgery (n=77,698) from 1980 to 2006 and the use of α-adrenergic receptor antagonists (n=143,365) and/or the use of 5α-reductase inhibitors (5-ARIs) (n=47,465) from 1995 to 2006.

Measurements: PCa incidence and mortality was assessed for each category of clinical BPH using Kaplan-Meier plots of cumulative incidence and Cox proportional hazard ratios (HRs) adjusted for potential confounders.

Results and limitations: For the entire cohort studies, multivariate-adjusted HRs for PCa incidence were 2.22 (95% confidence interval, 2.13-2.31) in men hospitalized and 3.26 (3.03-3.50) in men operated on for clinical BPH versus general population controls. Corresponding HRs for PCa mortality were 2.00 (1.91-2.08) for hospitalization and 7.85 (7.40-8.32) for surgery. For age-matched cohort studies, corresponding HRs for PCa incidence were 3.04 (2.96-3.13) for hospitalization, 2.60 (2.47-2.73) for surgery, 4.49 (4.33-4.65) for α-adrenergic receptor antagonist use, and 2.54 (2.40-2.68) for 5-ARI use. Each category of clinical BPH has limitations, but limitations differ between the categories and therefore are unlikely to explain the results.

Conclusions: In Danish men followed for up to 27 yr, clinical BPH was associated with a two- to three-fold increased risk of PCa incidence and with a two- to eight-fold increased risk of PCa mortality. These data should not be used to infer causality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostate / drug effects
  • Prostate / surgery
  • Prostatectomy / statistics & numerical data
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / drug therapy
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / mortality*
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / surgery
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data
  • Treatment Outcome


  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors
  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists