BAUS session reveals men with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) are more likely to have metabolic syndrome than men without

BPH and metabolic syndrome

A meta-analysis of studies involving over 43,000 men found that exercise intensity was related to a reduction of prostate enlargement

The BAUS (British Association of Urological Surgeons) session about men’s lifestyle took place at their Annual Scientific Meeting in Glasgow in June, and was chaired by Professor Mike Kirby. He explained that recent studies have found a link between exercise and reducing BPH. A meta-analysis of a previous study has also suggested that obesity was associated with a 28% increased risk of BPH. Professor Kirby stressed the importance of encouraging patients to follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly to reduce the risk of BPH, including adopting a Mediterranean diet and reminding patients of the food groups to have more and less of. 

Laura James, Specialist Nurse at Prostate Cancer UK attended the session and said “Although we know there is a link between BPH and metabolic syndrome, some studies have shown that obese men may be more likely to develop an enlarged prostate. We need to better understand the causes of an enlarged prostate to know for certain if, and how, we can prevent it. We also agree there is some link between exercise reducing the risk of urinary symptoms.”

“I have a lot of conversations with men using our Specialist Nurse service who are concerned about BPH and want to discuss treatment options. We do recommend men regularly exercise and have a healthy diet and although we feel this new evidence is encouraging, further studies are needed and clearer evidence to better understand the causes of BPH”.

Most of the causes of prostate enlargement are relatively unknown. But it’s clear the risk of having an enlarged prostate increases as men get older. Many men aged 50 or over have an enlarged prostate, but they don’t all get symptoms. And some men have symptoms that don't bother them. The balance of hormones (oestrogen and testosterone) in the body changes as men get older and this may cause the prostate to grow.

The BAUS session highlighted how health professionals can be the custodians of men’s health. There is a place for health professionals to be more broadly aware of men’s general health through monitoring and managing reversible risk factors in the patients they see. Health professionals can support patients in making lifestyle changes, encouraging them to stay fit and eat a healthy diet to reduce the likelihood of BPH.

For more information about treating BPH, have a look at our health information or speak to a fellow health professional and contact our Specialist Nurses for further help and support.