The Use of 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors to Manage Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and the Risk of All-cause Mortality



      To compare the risk of mortality among men treated for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) with 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors (5ARI) to those treated with alpha-blockers (AB) in community practice settings.


      We employed a retrospective matched cohort study in 4 regions of an integrated healthcare system. Men aged 50 years and older who initiated pharmaceutical treatment for BPH and/or lower urinary tract symptoms between 1992 and 2008 and had at least 3 consecutive prescriptions that were eligible and followed through 2010 (N = 174,895). Adjusted hazard ratios were used to estimate the risk of mortality due to all-causes associated with 5ARI use (with or without concomitant ABs) as compared to AB use.


      In this large and diverse sample with 543,523 person-years of follow-up, 35,266 men died during the study period, 18.9% of the 5ARI users and 20.4% of the AB users. After adjustment for age, medication initiation year, race, region, prior AB history, Charlson score, and comorbidities, 5ARI use was not associated with an increased risk of mortality when compared to AB use (Adjusted hazard ratios: 0.64, 95% confidence interval: 0.62, 0.66).


      Among men receiving medications for BPH in community practice settings, 5ARI use was not associated with an increased risk of mortality when compared to AB use. These data provide reassurance about the safety of using 5ARIs in general practice to manage BPH and/or lower urinary tract symptoms.



      5ARI (5 Alpha-reductase inhibitors), AB (alpha-blockers), BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia), LUTS (lower urinary tract symptoms), HR (hazard ratio), KP (Kaiser Permanente), ED (erectile dysfunction), OAB (overactive bladder), PCPT (Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial)
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