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Objective: The risk factors for benign prostatic enlargement (BPE) are not well understood and particularly few data are available from Italian population. Materials and methods: This was an observational cross sectional study aimed to examine the association between several risk factors and BPE. During the “#Controllati2017” initiative, men aged 18 years or more were invited to attend participating urologic centers for a free of charge visit for counseling about urologic or andrologic conditions. Each participating man underwent a physical examination including digital rectal examination (DRE). Further he was asked about his medical history, urologic symptoms, sexual activity and related problems. Diagnosis of BPE was made by the urologist after DRE. Results: Out of the 1902 [mean age 54 years (SD 12, range 18-92)] considered men, a total of 603 subjects (31.7%) had diagnosis of BPE. The diagnosis of BPE increased from 9.3% in men aged < = 50 years, to 34.1% in those aged 51-60 years and to 58.7% among men aged > 60 years. A history of hypertension, diabetes, heart diseases, hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia were all significantly associated with an increased risk of BPE in the total series and, although not always in a statistically significant way, in strata of age. Physical activity (PA) was significantly associated with a decreased risk of BPE. We have further analyzed the risk of BPE in men with one or more of the identified risk factors (i.e. hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia and low PA): the risk of BPE increased with number of risk factors reported by the subjects. The estimated risk were higher among younger men. Conclusion: In our study a history of hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia increased the risk and physical activity lowered the risk of BPE. This risk profile was observed also in men aged < 50 years.
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