- The use of alpha blockers indicated for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia can increase the risk of heart failure by up to 22%.
- If statistical probability is important, the absolute risk of developing heart failure in the absence of other risk factors is low.
- For this reason, you should not interrupt your treatment and discuss this with your doctor.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), common in men over the age of 50, occurs when the prostate becomes too large and obstructs urine output. It is then usually treated with two types of medications: 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors that reduce prostate size and alpha-blockers (AB) that relax smooth muscles.
However, the latter will be included in the increased risk of heart failure, according to his estimates. Journal of Urology. According to their authors, the risk is higher in men who take AB rather than 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (5-ARIs). “While no one has stopped taking BPH medications based on these results, our study provides new evidence for understanding the complex interplay of factors influencing heart disease risk in men with BPH. “Dr., from Queen’s University in Ontario (Canada). Explains Siemens.
22% increase in risk
To better understand the link between BPH medications and heart failure, the researchers used health data from Ontario to identify more than 175,000 men with benign prostatic hypertrophy. Approximately 55,000 patients were treated with AB alone, 8,000 with 5-ARI alone, and 41,000 with a combination of AB and 5-ARI. The rest were not taking the two types of BPH drugs.
After analyzing follow-up data, the researchers found that the risk of developing heart failure was 22% higher in men taking AB alone, 16% higher in those taking combination therapy, and 9% higher in those taking 5-ARI alone. Control group men not taking BPH medications.
The risk of heart failure was particularly higher with the intake of the old so-called “non-selective” alpha blockers compared to the new “selective” ABs. It was also higher in men who took AB for a long time: 14 months or more.
Real but low risk
However, the researchers want to reassure men who take such drugs: the increased likelihood of developing heart failure remains statistically high, but the absolute risk remains relatively low. Additionally, risk factors such as previous heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes have a much greater impact on heart failure risk than BPH medications.
Men with benign prostatic hyperplasia should therefore continue to take their medication, but doctors “including primary care physicians and urologists”, be aware of this risk and inform “patients with pre-existing heart disease or cardiovascular risk factors”.