Background: Sleep apnea (SA) is a common sleep disorder characterized by chronic intermittent hypoxia (IH). Chronic IH induces systemic inflammatory processes, which can cause tissue damage and contribute to prostatic enlargement. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) and SA in a Taiwanese population. Methods: The study population was identified from Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) and contained 202 SA patients and 1010 control patients. The study cohort consisted of men aged ≥30 years who were newly diagnosed with SA between January 1997 and December 2005. Each patient was monitored for 5 years from the index date for the development of BPH. A Cox regression analysis was used to calculate the hazard ratios (HRs) for BPH in the SA and control patients. Results: During the 5-year follow-up, 18 SA patients (8.9%) and 32 non-SA control patients (3.2%) developed BPH. The adjusted HR for BPH was 2.35-fold higher in the patients with SA than in the control patients (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.28-4.29, P<.01). We further divided the SA patients into 4 age groups. After adjusting for potential confounding factors, the highest adjusted HR for BPH in the SA patients compared with the control patients was 5.59 (95% CI = 2.19-14.31, P<.001) in the patients aged between 51 and 65 years. Conclusion: Our study results indicate that patients with SA are associated with increased longitudinal risk of BPH development, and that the effects of SA on BPH development are age-dependent.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere93081
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 25 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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