Use of 5α-reductase inhibitors to prevent benign prostatic hyperplasia disease
- Cite this article as:
- Marks, L.S. Curr Urol Rep (2006) 7: 293. doi:10.1007/s11934-996-0009-x
A histologic change in the prostate, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is a normal part of aging. However, BPH disease, defined here as a life-altering urinary condition caused by BPH requiring prompt medical intervention, is a serious medical disorder associated with major complications, surgical intervention, and severe lifestyle interference. BPH disease is preventable. The rationale for BPH disease prevention rests on four pillars of evidence: (1) BPH disease generally is a progressive disorder; (2) complications and severe lifestyle interference from BPH disease are common and serious; (3) men at greatest risk of BPH disease can be identified using prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level higher than 1.5 ng/mL as a surrogate marker for an enlarged prostate; and (4) 5α-reductase inhibitors (5ARIs) reduce the primary androgen responsible for prostate growth (dihydrotestosterone), shrink the prostate, and arrest the disease process regardless of symptom status. Thus, we now can identify men with an enlarged prostate at risk for BPH disease who may be candidates for preventive therapy with 5ARIs, regardless of urinary symptoms or bother.