Review Article | Published:

Allopurinol and risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia in a Finnish population-based cohort

Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases (2017) | Download Citation



Metabolic syndrome and obesity are linked with hyperuricemia, and it has also been proposed that oxidative stress associated with hyperuricemia may promote benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). However, it is currently unknown whether use of antihyperuricemic medication is associated with risk of developing BPH. We studied the association between BPH and use of antihyperuricemic allopurinol in a Finnish population-based cohort.


The study cohort consisted of 74,754 men originally identified for the Finnish Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (FinRSPC). Information on gout and BPH medication usage (5α-reductase inhibitors, 5ARIs) during 1996–2014 was obtained from the National medication reimbursement database. Information on BPH diagnoses from in- and outpatient hospital visits and BPH-related surgery was obtained from the National Health Care Registry. Men with a record of BPH at baseline was excluded. We used Cox regression to analyze risk of starting BPH medication, having a recorded diagnosis or undergoing BPH surgery by allopurinol use with adjustment for age and simultaneous use of statins, antidiabetic or antihypertensive drugs and aspirin or other NSAIDs. Medication use was analyzed as a time-dependent variable to minimize immortal time bias.


Men using allopurinol had a decreased risk for all three BPH endpoints: BPH medication (HR 0.81; 95% CI 0.75–0.88), BPH diagnosis (HR 0.78; 95% CI 0.71–0.86) and BPH-related surgery (HR 0.67; 95% CI 0.58–0.76) after multivariable adjustment. The risk association did not change by cumulative use. The risk decrease disappeared after 1–2 years lag time. Only BMI modified the risk association; the risk decrease was observed only among men with BMI above the median (27.3 kg/m2); p for interaction <0.05 for each endpoint.


We found that allopurinol use is associated with lowered risk of BPH medication, diagnosis and surgery. A possible explanation could be antioxidative effects of urate-lowering allopurinol.

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  1. Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland

    • Ville Kukko
    • , Teuvo L. J. Tammela
    •  & Teemu J. Murtola
  2. Department of Urology, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland

    • Antti Kaipia
    • , Teuvo L. J. Tammela
    •  & Teemu J. Murtola
  3. Finnish Cancer Registry, Helsinki, Finland

    • Kirsi Talala
  4. Department of Urology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland

    • Kimmo Taari
  5. Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland

    • Anssi Auvinen


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Conflict of interest

T.L.J. Tammela: consultant fees from Astellas, Bayer, and Roche. T.J. Murtola: consultant fees from Astellasand Janssen Cilag. Lecture fees from Astellas, GSK, and Janssen Cilag. K Taari: Consultant fee from Abbvie, research funding from Medivation, travel support from Astellas, and Orion. Remaining authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Ville Kukko.

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