Overweight Young Men Face High Risk of Enlarged Prostates

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John B. Eifler, MD
John B. Eifler, MD

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Overweight young men are more likely than normal-weight men to develop an enlarged prostate later in life, researchers reported.

In a study of 80 men participating in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (which is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging), those with a body mass index (BMI) 10 units above the median (24.9 kg/m2) were more than twice as likely to have an enlarged prostate after age 60 than men with a median BMI.

This increased risk was especially pronounced among men younger than 35 years, investigators at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the National Institute on Aging reported at the American Urological Association annual meeting. This group had an approximately 2.5 times increased risk for an enlarged prostate compared with men with a BMI at the median.

All 80 men in the study had BMI measurements available before age 40 and a pelvic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan after age 60. The men had a median age of 35 years at the time of the BMI measurements were obtained and a median age of 66.6 years at the time of their MRI scans. The median time from BMI measurements to MRI scans was 32.9 years.

“Previous studies from our institution and others have demonstrated that obese patients are more likely to have an enlarged prostate,” said lead investigator John B. Eifler, MD, a urological surgery resident at Johns Hopkins' James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute.

“The current study suggests that men who are overweight or obese before age 40 are at particularly high risk. With the recent increase in obesity in this age group, the prevalence of an enlarged prostate may increase as these men age.”

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