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Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2012 Jun;15(2):170-6. doi: 10.1038/pcan.2011.43. Epub 2011 Sep 13.

Prevalence of BPH and lower urinary tract symptoms in West Africans.

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UC Berkeley School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA.



BPH and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are very common among older men in Western countries. However, the prevalence of these two conditions in the developing countries is less clear.


We assessed the age-standardized prevalence of BPH and/or LUTS among West Africans in a probability sample of 950 men aged 50-74 in Accra, Ghana, with no evidence of biopsy-confirmed prostate cancer after screening with PSA and digital rectal examination (DRE). Information on LUTS was based on self-reports of the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS). BPH was estimated using DRE, PSA levels and imputed prostate volume.


The prevalence of DRE-detected enlarged prostate was 62.3%, while that of PSA≥1.5 ng ml(-1) (an estimate of prostate volume ≥ 30 cm(3)) was 35.3%. The prevalence of moderate-to-severe LUTS (IPSS≥8) was 19.9%. The prevalence of IPSS≥8 and an enlarged prostate on DRE was 13.3%. Although there is no universally agreed-upon definition of BPH/LUTS, making comparisons across populations difficult, BPH and/or LUTS appear to be quite common among older Ghanaian men.


We found that after age standardization, the prevalence of DRE-detected enlarged prostate in Ghanaian men is higher than previously reported for American men, but the prevalence of LUTS was lower than previously reported for African Americans. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings and identify the risk factors for BPH in both Africans and African Americans.

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