Many patients with bothersome urinary symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) consult a doctor about their condition, a new study says. In terms of treatment, these patients prefer those that may help reduce the risk of long-term complications, such as acute urinary retention and BPH-related surgery.
These findings were published in a report titled “Health Care-Seeking Behavior In Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Patients” in the journal Urological Science.
Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) due to BPH are highly frequent among older men and often have a negative impact on their quality of life. Also, as BPH is a progressive disease, symptoms can get worse and increase the risk of long-term complications if not properly treated.
Researchers followed 101 BPH patients with enlarged prostates and no history of prostate cancer from September 2007 toApril 2008 to investigate how symptoms influence the patients’ need for healthcare.
Patients were assessed with the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS)/quality-of-life questionnaire and also another questionnaire on their main reasons to seek medical advice, the expectation for BPH treatments, and the unwanted side effects of medical treatments.
Most patients (71.3 percent) said the main reason they sought medical care was annoying urinary symptoms, but other reasons included fear of prostate cancer (8.9 percent), attendance through physical check-up (14.9 percent), and a request by family or friends (1.0 percent).
The survey also showed that nearly half of the patients (48.6 percent) were very concerned about the possibility of long-term complications, such as acute urinary retention and surgery, so they ranked therapies according to this. Other patients reported preferring treatment that reduced prostate size and avoided prostate cancer (24.8 percent in each case).
“The results of our study showed that about 70% of men initially consulted their physician because of bothersome urinary symptoms,” researchers wrote. “Such patients had a significantly higher IPSS than those attending for any other reason.”
“This survey provides a valuable insight into the views and beliefs of patients regarding BPH and its management,” they added. “Bothersome urinary symptoms drive most BPH patients to consult a physician. When considering medical treatment for BPH, about half of the patients prefer to reduce the risk of long-term complications, such as acute urinary retention and the need for surgery.”