Elevated body mass index correlates with higher seminal plasma interleukin 8 levels and ultrasonographic abnormalities of the prostate in men attending an andrology clinic for infertility.J Endocrinol Invest. 2011 Nov; 34(10):e336-42.JE
Obesity is associated with a systemic, low-grade inflammatory state. Although the relationship between obesity and semen parameters or prostate diseases has been previously investigated, the association between body mass index (BMI), prostate inflammatory diseases and color- Doppler ultrasound (CDU) of the male genital tract (MGT) has been poorly studied.
To evaluate the association between BMI and CDU features of the MGT, signs and symptoms of prostate inflammation, semen parameters.
MATERIALS/SUBJECTS AND METHODS
We studied 222 men seeking medical care for couple infertility. According to the World Health Organization classification, subjects were divided into 3 groups: normal weight (no.=131, BMI=18.5-24.9 kg/m2), overweight (no.=71, BMI=25.0-29.9 kg/m2), obese (no.=20, BMI≥30.0 kg/m2). All patients underwent simultaneous testosterone evaluation and seminal analysis, including interleukin 8 (sIL-8), along with scrotal and transrectal CDU, before and after ejaculation. Prostatitis symptoms were evaluated by National Institutes of Health- Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index questionnaire.
After adjusting for age and testosterone levels, higher BMI was significantly related to higher prostate volume and several CDU features of the prostate, including macro-calcifications, inhomogeneity, higher arterial peak systolic velocity (the latter adjusted also for blood pressure), but not with abnormalities of testis, epididymis, seminal vesicles. Furthermore, higher BMI and BMI class were significantly related to higher sIL-8, a reliable surrogate marker of prostate inflammatory diseases, even after adjustment for age. Conversely, no associations among BMI, clinical symptoms of prostatitis or semen parameters were observed.
Subjects with higher BMI might develop CDU and biochemical signs suggestive of prostate inflammation, although not clinically overt.