By Megan Rauscher
Tue May 22, 2007
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – An expanding waistline in older men is associated with worsening lower urinary tract symptoms and poorer sexual function, according to research reported at the American Urological Association meeting in Anaheim.
At a press briefing, Dr. Steven A. Kaplan from Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, noted that waist size is one component of the so-called metabolic syndrome, which signifies an elevated risk of heart disease and diabetes. “It is becoming very clear that when you have multiple components of the metabolic syndrome you can bet that you will have components of pelvic dysfunction, which we would define as sexual dysfunction and voiding dysfunction,” Kaplan said.
He and his colleagues tested the idea that waist circumference may be a useful predictor of prostate volume and the severity of pelvic dysfunction.
They grouped 88 men (average age, 62 years) with moderate or severe untreated voiding symptoms by waist circumference: 30-36 inches, 36-40 inches, and more than 40 inches.
Increasing waist circumference was significantly associated with “every parameter we looked at,” Kaplan said. Prostate volume, PSA level, voiding symptom score, erectile dysfunction, and ejaculatory dysfunction all increased as waist size increased, he explained.
“The results were simply remarkable. They even surprised us,” he commented. “We have no doubt, at least from this cohort of patients, that increasing waist circumference is associated with worsening male health — voiding and sexual function.”
This study, Kaplan concluded, shows that obese men are at increased risk of pelvic dysfunction and can be “easily diagnosed” by measuring waist circumference.