(HealthDay News) — Age and obesity affect gene regulation in men with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia, according to a study published in The Journal of Urology.

Seth K. Bechis, MD, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues analyzed prostate samples from men undergoing transurethral prostate resection. Common assays were used to evaluate expression of 5-alpha-reductase type 2 protein and gene promoter methylation status. Clinical variables were also assessed.

BMI and age significantly correlated with methylation of the 5-alpha-reductase type 2 gene promoter (P<.05), whereas there was no correlation with prostate volume, prostate-specific antigen or benign prostatic hyperplasia medication. There was a strong association between methylation and 5-alpha-reductase protein expression (P<.0001). 

Results also showed that increasing age and BMI significantly predicted methylation status and protein expression (P<.01), in a predictive model.

“Our findings suggest an individualized epigenetic signature for symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia, which may be important to choose appropriate personalized treatment options,” the researchers wrote.

One author disclosed financial ties to the medical device industry.


  1. Bechis SK, Otsetov AG, Ge R, et al. Age and Obesity Promote Methylation and Suppression of 5α-Reductase 2: Implications for Personalized Therapy of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. J Urol. 2015;194(4):1031-1037.