A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.

It is possible to develop BPH with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing BPH. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your healthcare provider what you can do to reduce your risk.

There are three primary risk factors for BPH. These are:

Age —The risk of BPH increases with age, beginning at about age 40. The incidence increases with age—50% by age 50 and 80% by age 80.

Ethnic background —The risk of BPH begins to rise in African American men about five years earlier than it does for white American men. This condition is less common among men living in Asian countries.

Gender —BPH occurs only in men.

Studies have associated BPH with:

  • Metabolic syndrome —A condition marked by elevated blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, and body weight. Excess weight centered around the midsection is of particular concern.
  • Obesity
  • Lipid disorders
  • Diet high in fats and red meat