Heavier Men Face Higher LUTS Risk

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—Elderly men who are overweight or obese are at increased risk for developing lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), but those who engage in a relatively high level of physical activity or daily walking for exercise have a reduced risk, data show.

The findings came to light in a study of elderly men participating in the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study (MrOS), a prospective study of community-dwelling older men designed to identify risk factors for falls, fractures, and other conditions of aging. The study enrolled 5,994 men from March 2000 through April 2002.

J. Kellogg Parsons, MD, MHS, Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of California in San Diego, and colleagues studied 1,695 participants without LUTS at baseline (AUA Symptom Index score of 0-7) and who had no history of treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia, no current use of herbal supplements for prostate symptoms, and no current prescription for urologic medications. After a mean follow-up of 4.6 years, LUTS developed in 524 men (31%), Dr. Parson's group reported in a poster presentation at the American Urological Association annual meeting.

Compared with men who at baseline had normal weight (body mass index [BMI] less than 25 kg/m2), overweight (BMI 25-29.9) and obese (BMI 30 or greater) men were 31% and 41%, respectively, more likely to develop LUTS, after adjusting for confounders. In addition, LUTS was 29% less likely to develop in men in the highest quartile of physical activity (as measured by the physical activity scale for the elderly) compared with men in the lowest quartile. Men who walked daily had a 20% decreased risk compared with those who did not.

“These data show that exercise and weight loss have the potential for becoming useful therapies in the prevention and first line treatment of LUTS, much as they now are for hypertension and diabetes,” Dr. Parsons told Renal & Urology News. “Although randomized clinical trials of exercise and LUTS are needed, there are no drawbacks to discussing the potential benefits of exercise for promoting urinary health among older male patients.”

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