Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a common cause of morbidity among older men. Primary care physicians need to develop expertise in its management. The causes of BPH are unknown; aging and the presence of male androgens are the dominant risk factors. Obtaining a medical history is a key step in assessing whether lower urinary tract symptoms are due to BPH or to some other process. A reliable and valid seven-item questionnaire has been developed to objectively assess symptom severity. A focused physical examination including a digital rectal exam should be performed, as well as a urinalysis and serum creatinine. Optional tests include uroflowmetry, post-void residual urine, and prostate-specific antigen measurements. BPH is treated primarily to improve the quality, rather than increase the quantity, of life. Optimal decisions about treatment are best made by a clinician and an informed patient working together.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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