Men's Health: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

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Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) commonly causes lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) through narrowing of the urethra and disruption of innervation of the gland. BPH is common in older men. Risk factors include Black race, Hispanic ethnicity, obesity, type 2 diabetes, high levels of alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, and a family history of BPH. The degree of LUTS can be assessed using the American Urological Association Symptom Index (AUASI). Watchful waiting is recommended for men with mild symptoms. Alpha-adrenergic blockers or 5-alpha reductase inhibitors can be used to manage more severe symptoms. (This is an off-label use of some alpha-adrenergic blockers.) Alpha-adrenergic blockers typically are the initial choice. Combination therapy is more effective than monotherapy. Anticholinergics and beta-adrenergic agonists can be used to manage irritative LUTS if the postvoiding residual urine volume is low. (This is an off-label use of anticholinergics and beta-adrenergic agonists.) The phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor tadalafil is a second-line pharmacotherapy. There is insufficient evidence to support use of integrative medicine therapies. Physicians should consult with a urology subspecialist when patients do not benefit from medical therapy or have refractory LUTS, recurrent urinary tract infections, gross hematuria, bladder stones, or renal insufficiency.

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