Mens Health| Volume 163, P44-49, May 2022

The Impact of Race, Ethnicity and Insurance Status on Surgery Rates for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia



      To determine whether patient race/ethnicity are associated with differences in likelihood of undergoing surgical treatment for LUTS/BPH.


      Queried hospital network database between 1/2011 and 10/2018. Men over age 40 on medical therapy for LUTS (selective alpha blockade and/or 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor), with 2+ provider visits, and without bladder/prostate malignancy were included. Ethnicity/race determined by self-identification. Insurance status classified as public (Medicare/Medicaid/Tricare), private, self-pay, or other.
      Multivariable backwards step-wise logistic regression was performed to compare odds of undergoing a surgical procedure by race/ethnicity, controlling for patient age, insurance status, comorbidities, and type of medical therapy.


      30,466 patients included, with White (n=24,443, 80.2%), Hispanic (n=2,715, 8.9%), Black (n=1,245, 4.1%), and other race/ethnicity (2,073, 6.8%) identified within the study population. After adjusting for age, insurance status, major comorbidities, and type of medical therapy, Black patients were less likely to undergo surgery than White patients (OR 0.57, 95% CI 0.37 – 0.88, P = .011), as were patients of other race/ethnicity (OR 0.67, 95% CI 0.49 – 0.92, P = .013).


      Adjusting for age, insurance status, major comorbidities and type of LUTS medication, men categorized as Black were significantly less likely to undergo surgical treatment for LUTS/BPH than White patients. It is unknown whether this difference results from differences in counseling, access, or other bias in therapy. Efforts to understand and respond to this disparity are necessary. Limitations include lack of IPSS data, additional comorbidity data, limited geographic area, and retrospective nature.
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