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Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 1999 Dec;2(5/6):285-289.

Plasma steroid hormones, surgery for benign prostatic hyperplasia, and severe lower urinary tract symptoms.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Mass., USA.


Because benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) may be influenced by plasma steroid hormones, we examined their relation in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. In 1993-1995, 18,000 cohort members provided blood. We selected as cases men who had had surgery for BPH (n=174) or who scored 20-35 points (n=126) on the American Urological Association index of severity of lower urinary tract symptoms. Cases were matched by age to men who scored</=3 points and without an enlarged prostate or elevated prostate-specific antigen. We estimated the odds ratio (OR) of BPH surgery and severe lower urinary tract symptoms for plasma testosterone (T), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), androstanediol glucuronide (AAG), estradiol (E2), and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) in multivariable conditional logistic regression models. Compared to the lowest tertiles, men in the middle (OR=1.42) and top (OR=1.78) tertiles of AAG were at increased risk for having either BPH surgery or severe lower urinary tract symptoms (P-trend=0.02). Men in the middle (OR=0.58) and top (OR=0.60) tertiles of E2 were at lower risk. T level was unrelated to surgery and symptoms. Our findings support opposing roles for DHT, reflected by its metabolite AAG, and E2 in the etiology of BPH.

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