Objectives: To better understand the role of specific macronutrients on the risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), we used data from an Italian case-control study. Although BPH is extremely common among the elderly, its etiology-and, particularly, the role of diet and specific macronutrients-is still unclear. Methods: A case-control study of 1369 patients with BPH and 1451 controls, admitted to the same hospitals for a wide spectrum of acute, non-neoplastic conditions, was conducted in Italy. The subjects' usual diet was investigated through a validated and reproducible food frequency questionnaire. Multivariate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were obtained after allowance for energy intake and other potential confounding factors. Results: A significant direct relation was observed between starch intake (OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.15 to 1.99 for highest quintile compared with lowest one), and an inverse relation was observed for polyunsaturated fatty acids (OR 0.72, 95% CI 0.55 to 0.93), linoleic acid (OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.56 to 0.94), and linolenic acid (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.54 to 0.93). Conclusions: The results of this study suggest a role for specific macronutrients in the risk of BPH, including, in particular, an unfavorable effect for starch and a beneficial one for polyunsaturated fatty acids.
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