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Rising numbers of acute renal failure cases in BPH patients suggests more need full workup, possible intervention

WASHINGTON, DC, May 17, 2011 — Despite an increased use of oral therapies to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), some men may not be receiving treatment at the extent to which it is needed and may still suffer severe adverse complications as a result, according to new data from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) being presented this week at the Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association in Washington, DC. A special event for media will be held on Tuesday, May 17 at 11:00 a.m. in the AUA Press Suite. The event will be moderated by Kevin McVary, MD.

BPH, or non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate, is a common condition that affects millions of men in the United States each year, and can lead to serious lower urinary tract symptoms, ranging from frequent or painful urination to urinary retention (which can lead to renal failure if left untreated). Numerous treatments, including oral therapies and minimally invasive surgical procedures, such as a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), are available for men with BPH.

UCSD researchers examined a 20 percent data sample from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample between 1998 and 2007 and identified 6,409,576 (5.3 percent) discharges with primary or secondary diagnoses of BPH. Age-adjusted prevalence for BPH increased from 4.2 percent to 7.4 percent over the 10 year period in this group, irrespective of primary diagnosis; however, discharges for primary BPH decreased from 0.86 percent to 0.47 percent. BPH surgery discharges decreased by 51 percent and those for primary BPH with acute renal failure increased more than 300 percent. Discharges for primary BPH with urinary retention, stones or infection remained static without significant change.

These data suggest that, while the prevalence of BPH is increasing, fewer men are receiving surgical treatment and an increasing number are presenting with acute renal failure.

“Oral therapies for BPH are a common first-line treatment that can be effective in many men,” Dr. McVary said. “However, it is imperative that patients be treated promptly if the drugs aren’t working.

“In many cases, surgical treatment for BPH can help prevent urinary retention, which can ultimately lead to acute renal failure that can be life-threatening.”

NOTE TO REPORTERS: Experts are available to discuss this study outside normal briefing times. To arrange an interview with an expert, please contact the AUA Communications Office at the number above or e-mail

About the American Urological Association: Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is the pre-eminent professional organization for urologists, with more than 17,000 members throughout the world. An educational nonprofit organization, the AUA pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care by carrying out a wide variety of programs for members and their patients.

Wendy Waldsachs Isett, AUA