A recent study found that lower urinary tract symptoms and sexual function worsen in men as their waist circumference increases.
According to a study published in the August 2007 issue of Renal and Urology News, central obesity (midsection area) is associated with an increased risk of male pelvic dysfunction.
Previous published studies have shown significant associations between BPH, prostate volume (PV), and components of the metabolic syndrome. The new study tested whether measuring waist circumference in inches could predict PV and severity of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), as well as other measures of the metabolic syndrome.
The study, was presented in Anaheim, California at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association. The study group included 88 men aged 50-75 years (mean 62.4 years) with moderate or severe LUTS (International Prostate Symptom Score [IPSS] of 8 or greater) with no prior treatment.
The men were divided into three groups according to waist circumference: 30-36 inches (27 men), 36-40 inches (36 men), and greater than 40 inches (25 men). At baseline, the investigators measured IPSS, PV (as determined by transrectal ultrasound), serum PSA, and peak flow rate.
Men with a waist circumference of 30-36, 36-40, and more than 40 inches had a mean PV of 28.53, 31.67, and 36.78 cc, respectively. Their PSA levels were 2.32, 2.92, and 3.54 ng/mL, respectively, and their IPSS at screening was 11.57, 13.67, and 15.78. Peak flow rate was 10.6, 9.45, and 8.65 mL/sec. The proportion of men with erectile dysfunction was 34.6%, 49.5%, and 78.6% and the proportion with ejaculatory dysfunction was 27.8%, 47.2%, and 74.5%.
All differences between the groups were significant.
“Every parameter we looked at increased as waist size increased,” said investigator Steven Kaplan, MD, professor of urology at the Cornell Medical College in New York.
This study directly ties in with previous discussion of estrogen dominance in men. According to hormone experts, estrogen’s effects can cause men to develop large waistlines. Estrogen also contributes to the manufacture of dihydroxytestosterone in men (DHT) which has been directly related to prostate problems.
We can make the leap that it is the effect of environmental estrogens that is causing both the increased waist size and the urinary and sexual dysfunction symptoms.