Aspirin May Cut Enlarged Prostate Risk
Other Anti-Inflammatory Drugs May Also Help Prevent Common Problem in Men
Aug. 30, 2006 -- An enlarged prostate is almost a rite of passage for men as they age, but a daily aspirin may cut the risk of this common problem.
Men who reported daily use of aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, were 25% less likely to develop moderate to severe enlarged prostate symptoms.
The findings suggest that anti-inflammatory drugs may prevent or delay development of an enlarged prostate, according to researcher Jennifer St. Sauver, PhD, and colleagues.
2 Birds With 1 Aspirin
Doctors aren't advising men to start taking aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs for prostate health.
"We would not recommend that every man go out and take aspirin," St. Sauver says, in a Mayo Clinic news release.
"But if they are already taking it regularly for other reasons, our findings suggest another benefit as well," she adds.
Besides easing pain, aspirin is often taken to cut heart and stroke. But aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs come with their own risks, including stomach irritation, bleeding, and ulcers.
Although the exact risk is unclear, long-term use of anti-inflammatory drugs other than aspirin has been linked to an increase in heart attack and stroke risk. Prescription anti-inflammatory drugs now carry a warning about that risk.
Patients should talk to their doctors about the risks and benefits of taking aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs.
Enlarged prostate is the most common prostate problem. As men age, they're more likely to develop the condition, which is known by doctors as BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Many men with an enlarged prostate have no symptoms. Symptoms that may develop include difficulty starting a urine stream, weak urine flow, the urge to urinate frequently, and possibly pain during urination.
Michael Lieber, MD, a Mayo Clinic urologist who worked on the study, describes the problem.
"The typical scenario with benign prostatic hyperplasia is that men start getting up three to five times a night to urinate, and their wives ultimately force them to go see a urologist," Lieber says, in the Mayo Clinic news release.