Benign prostatic hyperplasia on the rise, surgical interventions declining

14 Sep 2021

There seems to be an increasing trend in the diagnosis rate of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), accompanied by a gradual rise in medical treatment and decline in surgical interventions, a new South Korea study has shown.

The researchers accessed the database of the National Health Insurance System, searching for BPH patients who underwent either medical or surgical treatment between 2012 and 2018. Outcomes included the temporal changes in the rates of medical and surgical treatment and annual diagnosis rate.

There was an overall and progressive increase in the rate of BPH diagnosis, rising from 9,202 per 100,000 men in 2012 to 11,610 per 100,000 men in 2018. Over the same time span, hospital presentations for BPH grew from 3.24 million to 3.7 million.

Despite the increasing rate of BPH diagnosis, the use of surgical interventions dropped progressively over time, from 1.2 percent in 2012, 1.0 percent in 2013 and 2014, 0.9 percent in 2015, 0.8 percent in 2016 and 2018, and 0.7 percent in 2017. Such a downward trend was most apparent in the age groups of 51–60 and 61–70 years. In contrast, medical treatment increased from 2012 to 2018.

Stratifying analysis according to the type of medical institution did not alter the temporal trends in treatment modalities. Moreover, in tertiary referral centres, general hospitals, and clinics, medical interventions were the predominant mode of care, applied in >95 percent of cases.

“From 2012 to 2018, overall surgical treatment gradually decreased while medical treatment increased among all treatments for BPH. A comprehensive treatment plan for BPH should be established considering this trend,” the researchers said.

“However, due to the nature of claim data, the present study could not reflect several factors influencing the treatment trend of BPH. Therefore, a further study is needed to investigate [the] effects of these factors on the treatment of BPH,” they added.

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