To assess the epidemiology of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in a case-control study in greater Athens, Greece.
The study comprised 184 patients surgically treated for BPH within one year of its diagnosis (cases) and 246 patients with no symptoms of BPH who were treated in the same hospitals for minor diseases or conditions (controls). All cases and controls were permanent residents of the greater Athens area, Greece. The data were assessed using unconditional logistic regression.
After controlling for age and education, cases and controls had similar distributions for height, body mass index, sibship size and birth order in the parental family, marital status, number of offspring and a series of previous medical diagnoses or surgical operations. The sole exception was surgery for haemorrhoids, that appeared to be related to the incidence of BPH, possibly by chance. There was no evidence that vertex baldness, tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption or coffee drinking increased the risk for BPH. Men who had spent most of their lives in a rural rather than an urban environment appeared to be at reduced risk for BPH.
The lifestyle factors assessed here have no major effect on the aetiology of BPH.