Who is at Risk for BPH

Who is at Risk for BPH?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a common condition among men, particularly as they age. It refers to the enlargement of the prostate gland, which can lead to various urinary symptoms. While BPH is a natural part of the aging process for many men, certain factors can increase the risk of developing this condition. Understanding these risk factors is important for early detection, prevention, and management of BPH. Below are some of the most common risk factors. 


Age is one of the most significant risk factors for BPH. As men grow older, the likelihood of developing an enlarged prostate increases. While BPH can occur in men over the age of 40, it is most commonly diagnosed in those over the age of 50. By the age of 60, more than half of men will have some degree of prostate enlargement, and this continues to rise with age.

Family History

Genetics plays a role in the development of BPH. If you have a family history of prostate problems, particularly BPH, your risk of developing the condition is higher. Studies have shown that men with a father or brother with BPH are more likely to experience prostate enlargement. If you have a family history of BPH, you should be more vigilant about monitoring your prostate health.


Ethnicity can play a role in the likelihood of developing BPH. Certain ethnic groups, such as African American men, tend to be more prone to developing BPH. The severity of symptoms and complications related to BPH can vary among different ethnicities. Although the exact reasons for these differences are not yet understood, they emphasize the importance of ethnicity when evaluating prostate health.

Lifestyle Factors

Several lifestyle factors can contribute to the development or progression of BPH. These include:

  • Obesity: Excess body weight, particularly abdominal obesity, has been linked to an increased risk of BPH. Fat tissue produces hormones that can promote prostate growth, leading to enlargement and associated urinary symptoms.
  • Sedentary Lifestyle: Lack of physical activity is another risk factor for BPH. Regular exercise protects against prostate enlargement by improving overall health and reducing inflammation.
  • Diet: Certain dietary habits may influence the risk of BPH. A diet high in red meat, dairy products, and saturated fats has been associated with an increased risk, while a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats may help reduce the risk of developing BPH.
  • Smoking and Alcohol Consumption: Both smoking and excessive alcohol consumption have been linked to an increased risk of BPH and worsening urinary symptoms. Quitting smoking and moderating alcohol intake can help reduce these risks.

Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions may predispose men to develop BPH. These include:

  • Diabetes: Men with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing BPH, possibly due to metabolic changes associated with diabetes and its impact on hormone levels.
  • Cardiovascular Disease: Conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) have been linked to an increased risk of BPH. These conditions can affect blood flow to the prostate gland, contributing to its enlargement.
  • Hormonal Imbalances: Changes in hormone levels, particularly the male hormone testosterone and its derivative dihydrotestosterone (DHT), play a role in the development of BPH. Imbalances in these hormones, such as an age-related decrease in testosterone or an increase in estrogen levels, can promote prostate growth.

Navigating Prostate Health: Taking Charge of Your Future

While these risk factors can increase the likelihood of developing BPH, it’s essential to remember that not all men with these risk factors will develop the condition. Some men without these risk factors may still experience prostate enlargement. 

Regular prostate screenings and discussions with your doctor are important for early detection and appropriate management of BPH. By understanding the risk factors and taking proactive steps to maintain prostate health, men can reduce their risk of developing BPH and improve their quality of life as they age. 
Contact American Prostate Centers for diagnosis and treatment of BPH. Our prostate specialists are here to help you improve your symptoms and reduce the size of your prostate with prostate artery embolization. Request an appointment to see if you’re at risk and for more information on our treatment options.

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