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Scand J Urol Nephrol. 2002;36(5):330-8.

Calculated fast-growing benign prostatic hyperplasia--a risk factor for developing clinical prostate cancer.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Halland, Varberg Hospital, Varberg, Sweden.



Whether there is an association between the development of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and clinical prostate cancer is controversial. The present report tests the hypothesis of an association between BPH growth and the development of clinical prostate cancer by examining stage, grade and PSA-level in men with recently discovered clinical prostate cancer with slow or fast-growing BPH. If the hypothesis is true, men with fast-growing BPH would have a more advanced clinical prostate cancer.


Two hundred and twenty patients in whom a clinical prostate cancer was diagnosed were consecutively included. The prevalence of atherosclerotic disease, non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or treated hypertension was provided by the respective patient's medical history. Tallness, body weight, waist measurement, hip measurement and blood pressure were determined. The body mass index (BMI) and waist/hip ratio (WHR) were calculated. Blood samples were drawn to determine triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, uric acid, ALAT and the fasting plasma insulin level. The prostate gland volume was measured using transrectal ultrasound. The annual BPH growth rate was calculated, assuming that the total prostate gland volume was 20 mL at the patient age of forty. The prostate cancer diagnosis was established using the technique of transrectal ultrasound-guided automatic needle biopsy of the prostate.


Men with clinical prostate cancer, PSA <50 ng/mL, and with fast-growing BPH had a higher systolic (p = 0.009) and diastolic (p = 0.020) blood pressure, were taller (p < 0.001) and more obese, as determined by body weight (p < 0.001), BMI (p = 0.005), waist measurement (p < 0.001) and hip measurement (p = 0.003). They also had a higher fasting plasma insulin level (p = 0.014) and a lower HDL-cholesterol level (p = 0.067) than men with slow-growing BPH. Moreover, men with clinical prostate cancer, PSA <50 ng/mL, and fast-growing BPH had more pronounced clinical prostate cancer, as measured by grade (p = 0.029) and PSA-level (p = 0.016), than men with slow-growing BPH. In the total material, including men with clinical prostate cancer, PSA >/=50 ng/mL, men with fast-growing BPH also had a higher prevalence of NIDDM (p = 0.039) and a borderline statistical significance for higher stage (p = 0.09) than men with slow-growing BPH. The BPH growth rate was significantly associated with the clinical prostate cancer grade (p = 0.018) and PSA-level (p = 0.002) but not with the clinical cancer stage in a multivariate statistical analysis.


This report confirms findings in previous studies that fast-growing BPH is a risk factor for NIDDM, hypertension, tallness, obesity, dyslipidaemia and hyperinsulinaemia. The present report extends this list of risk factors to include atherosclerotic disease manifestations, hyperuricaemia and higher ALAT levels. The study suggests that fast-growing BPH is a risk factor for developing clinical prostate cancer and, thus, supports the hypothesis of an association between the development of BPH and clinical prostate cancer. The study generates the hypothesis that clinical prostate cancer is a component of the metabolic syndrome and that insulin is a promoter of clinical prostate cancer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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