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Alcohol vs. Lifestyle - Enlarged Prostate (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH)

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Enlarged Prostate (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH)

• An analysis of 19 published studies that included over 120,000 men found that drinking two or more drinks a day was associated with a 35% in risk of developing benign prostate enlargement.128

• A dietary study found that men who consume two or more alcoholic drinks per day are 33% less likely to develop BPH than are teetotalers or alcohol abstainers.129

• A study of 29,386 men age 40-75 for a period of eight years found that moderate drinkers consuming up to about 3.3 drinks per day experienced a 41% reduction in risk of enlarged prostate.130

• A study of 882 men (aged 65, 70, 75 and 80 years) found that increased alcohol consumption was strongly associated with decreased risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia.131

• A study of 6,581 Japanese-American men for 17 years found that alcohol consumption reduced the risk of obstructive uropathy caused by enlarged prostate. Men who drank an average of 1.3 drinks of alcohol per day experienced a 36% lower risk compared with alcohol abstainers.132

• An investigation of 1,369 men in Italy younger than age 75 found that, compared with abstainers, those who consumed fewer than three drinks per day had a 12% lower risk and those who consumed seven or more drinks per day had a 35% lower risk of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia. The patterns of risk reduction were similar for beer, wine, and spirits.133

• A population based case-control study of 100 Chinese patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia who were over 60 years of age and a control group of the same size found that men who consumed alcohol experienced a 35% reduction in risk of developing BPH compared with non-drinkers.134

• In a prospective study a total of 142 patients who were admitted to an outpatient clinic with lower urinary tract symptoms were examined and 68.3% were diagnosed with clinical BPH. Over twice the proportion of patients without clinical BPH were alcohol drinkers, leading the researchers to conclude that consuming alcohol is a protective factor for clinical BPH.135

• Data from 34,694 participants in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial were analyzed. Researchers found that greater alcohol consumption was strongly associated with decreased risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia.136

• This study analyzed 184 patients who were surgically treated for benign prostatic hyperplasia within one year of its diagnosis and 246 patients with no symptoms of enlarged prostate who were treated in the same hospitals for minor diseases or conditions (controls). There was no evidence that alcohol consumption increased the risk for BPH.137

• A case-control study of Chinese men found that those who consumed about two to three drinks per day had a 35% reduction in risk and those who consumed over four drinks per day had a 38% reduction in risk of developing an enlarged prostate.138

• A study of 2,797 men age 60 or older participating in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) found that those who drank alcohol daily had a 41% lower chance of lower urinary tract symptoms than non-drinkers.139

• The development of benign prostatic hyperplasia among 2,036 volunteers was studied by following individual participants for a period of from 12 to 21 years. The results demonstrated that the risk of developing BPH dropped as the level of alcohol consumption increased.140

• This case-control study of 910 Rhode Islanders, plus 2,003 men who served as controls, found that alcohol reduced the risk of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia.141

• Researchers followed, for a mean of nine years, 1,700 men who were part of the population-based Massachusetts Male Aging Study. They examined numerous physical, medical, and behavioral characteristics but found that virtually none, including alcohol intake, was a risk factor for benign prostatic hyperplasia.142

• A community-based cross-sectional epidemiological study of 514 men in Korea found that a lower risk of developing an enlarged prostate was associated with an increasing daily consumption of alcohol.143

• An analysis of 14,897 men who were members of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program found that those who consumed three or more drinks per day had a 25% lower risk of BPH than non-drinkers.144

Gallbladder Disease (Gallstones or Cholelithiasis)

• A prospective study of 1,290,413 United Kingdom women followed them for an average of over six years. Drinking alcohol was found to decrease the risk of developing gallstone disease. Women who drank 15 or more units of alcohol per week has a 41% reduced risk compared with those who drank one to two units per week. A unit equals ten mL of absolute alcohol.150

• Information on 58,462 adults age 25 years and over who were randomly selected for the Italian National Health survey was analyzed. After controlling for age sex and other variables, researchers found that those who consumed up to about 1.3 glasses of alcohol each day experienced a 17% decrease, those who consumed from 1.3 to 2.8 glasses daily had a 33% decrease, and those who drank more than 2.8 glasses of alcohol each day enjoyed a 42% drop in risk for gallstone disease, compared with abstainers.151

• Analysis of data from 88,837 women aged 34 to 59 who were followed for four years after completing a detailed questionnaire about food and alcohol intake revealed that those who drank alcohol daily had a 40% decrease in their risk of developing gallbladder disease.152

• A study of 29,584 people enrolled in an epidemiological survey of the general population of Italy found that daily moderate alcohol consumption by men significantly lowered their risk of developing gallstone disease compared with non-drinkers.153

• A total of 80,898 women in the U.S. were followed for 20 years, with alcohol consumption being measured every two to four years. The resulting finding was that alcohol consumption decreased the risk of developing gallstone disease. As consumption increased, the risk decreased. Compared with women who did not drink, those who drank an average of up to one drink per day experienced a 14% decrease in risk whereas those who drank an average of four or more drinks per day had a 38% reduced risk of developing gallstone disease. In addition, as frequency of consumption increased risk decreased dramatically. Beer, wine and spirits all reduced risk.154


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