Metabolic Syndrome Increases Risk Of BPH

Men everywhere beware! If you have metabolic syndrome, you have twice as likely to develop BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia and inflammation of the prostate gland. In a second study, after adjusting for age, men with metabolic syndrome were three times as likely to develop moderate to severe inflammation of the prostate. These studies were reported at the 27th Annual Congress of the European Association of Urology.

Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome or cardiometabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors in individuals which has been shown to increase cardiometabolic risk. These risk factors include:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High LDL cholesterol
  • High blood sugar
  • Belly fat, especially the inner belly fat
  • Insulin resistance
  • Low HDL cholesterol
  • High Triglycerides
  • Inflammatory markers, which are blood tests that indicate some type of inflammation is going on in the body

Other names for cardiometabolic syndrome include:

  • Syndrome X
  • Cardiovascular Dysmetabolic Syndrome
  • Insulin-Resistance Syndrome
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Beer Belly Syndrome

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH

BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia, is an enlargement of the prostate gland. Currently, many men over the age of 40 have BPH though less than half have any symptoms of it. More than half of men in their 60’s and about 90% of men in their seventies and eighties have some symptoms of PBH.

Symptoms of BPH include:

  • Incontinence
  • Urinary Retention (Being unable to urinate)
  • Dribbling at the conclusion of urinating
  • Waking up two or more times each night to urinate
  • Weak urine streams
  • Sudden need to urinate
  • Having to strain to urinate
  • Delays in urinary streams beginning
  • Pain or blood within the urinary stream

In one of the studies reported at the conference, men who had waists measuring over 36” had a significant twofold increase in the risk of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia. The second study found that of the all the factors of metabolic syndrome, the most important predictors of prostate inflammation were elevated triglycerides and decreased HDL levels.

Prostate Cancer and Metabolic Syndrome

Another study done in Spain and reported at the 27th Annual Congress found that while metabolic syndrome does not increase the overall risk of getting prostate cancer, it does increase the risk of getting aggressive prostate cancer when men do get the cancer. This was the second such study confirming the association between metabolic syndrome and high-grade prostate cancer. All the more reason to do what you can to avoid metabolic syndrome.

Preventing BPH

No one really knows what causes BPH and why so many men develop it. Thanks to the recent studies, we now know that metabolic syndrome may be associated with BPH and even increase your chances of getting it. Metabolic syndrome, though on the rise in America, is something each one of us can avoid with healthy diet and lifestyle changes. You can lose weight, reduce your cholesterol and triglyceride levels and stop smoking if you do smoke. All of these are components of metabolic syndrome.

If you would like more information on BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia, the U.S. National Library of Medicine has published a free fact sheet on it. You can get it here: Self-management of enlarged prostate (Benign prostatic hyperplasia)