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Am J Epidemiol. 1999 Jan 15;149(2):106-15.

Alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, and risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.


Alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking were evaluated in relation to development of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) among 29,386 members of the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Men who were 40-75 years old in 1986 and free of prior BPH surgery, diagnosed cancer at baseline, and prostate cancer at baseline and during follow-up were followed for incidence of BPH surgery from 1986 to 1994. Cases were men who reported BPH surgery between 1986 and 1994 (n = 1,813) or who scored > or = 15 points of 35 on seven lower urinary tract symptom questions modified from the American Urological Association symptom index in 1992 and 1994 (n = 1,786); noncases were men who scored < or = 7 points (n = 20,840). After controlling for age, race/ethnicity, body mass index, physical activity, and mutually for alcohol intake and smoking, moderate alcohol consumption was inversely related with total BPH (30.1-50 g/day vs. 0: odds ratio (OR) = 0.59, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.51-0.70; p trend < 0.0001), although the relation was attenuated at high intake (> or = 50.1 g/day vs. 0: OR = 0.72, 95% CI 0.57-0.90). Current cigarette smoking was positively related to total BPH only among those who smoked 35 or more cigarettes/day (compared with never smokers: OR = 1.45, 95% CI 1.07-1.97). These findings suggest that moderate alcohol consumption and avoidance of smoking may benefit BPH.

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