Urological aspects of the metabolic syndrome

Nat Rev Urol. 2011 Aug 2;8(9):483-94. doi: 10.1038/nrurol.2011.112.


The metabolic syndrome is common in countries with Western lifestyles. It comprises a number of disorders-including insulin resistance, hypertension and obesity-that all act as risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Urological diseases have also been linked to the metabolic syndrome. Most established aspects of the metabolic syndrome are linked to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer. Fasting plasma insulin, in particular, has been linked to BPH and incident, aggressive and lethal prostate cancer. The metabolic syndrome has also been shown to be associated with nonprostatic urological conditions such as male hypogonadism, nephrolithiasis, overactive bladder and erectile dysfunction, although data on these conditions are still sparse. Overall, the results of studies on urological aspects of the metabolic syndrome seem to indicate that BPH and prostate cancer could be regarded as two new aspects of the metabolic syndrome, and that an increased insulin level is a common underlying aberration that promotes both BPH and clinical prostate cancer. Urologists need to be aware of the effect that the metabolic syndrome has on urological disorders and should transfer this knowledge to their patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / metabolism
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / epidemiology
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Risk Factors
  • Urinary Bladder, Overactive / epidemiology
  • Urinary Bladder, Overactive / metabolism
  • Urologic Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Urologic Diseases / metabolism*