Alcohol consumption was linked with men's risk of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in a study from South Korea.
The relationship between alcohol consumption and LUTS followed a J-shaped curve, with higher symptom rates among those who abstained from alcohol and those who consumed 40 g/day or more, and lower rates among men who drank between 20 and 30 g/day.
The finding, reported by Dr Jin-ho Park from Seoul National University College of Medicine and colleagues, is drawn from data on more than 30 000 men age 30 or older who had routine comprehensive health evaluations at the Seoul National University Hospital Healthcare System Gangnam Center. Men with prostate disease were excluded.
Overall, just over a quarter (28.4%) of the men reported moderate to severe LUTS (i.e., a score of eight or more on the International Prostate Symptom Score). Nearly seven of every eight (83.7%) reported current alcohol consumption, according to a paper by the researchers that appeared online in The Journal of Urology.
Moderate alcohol drinking
The prevalence of moderate to severe voiding symptoms also exhibited a J-shaped curve, with the lowest rates in the 0-10 g/day group (26.5%) and the 20-30 g/day group (25.5%) and the highest rates in men who didn't drink alcohol at all (30.7%) and the 40 g/day or greater group (31.0%).
Similarly, the prevalence of moderate to severe storage symptoms was lowest in the 0-10 g/day and 10-20 g/day groups and highest in the zero g/day and 40 g/day or more groups.
"Light to moderate alcohol consumption may be beneficial for men to improve LUTS, whereas heavy consumption may worsen LUTS," the researchers conclude. "However, we suggest that advice concerning light to moderate alcohol drinking could be modulated on an individual basis, according to the biological and clinical risk factors in each case."
"Longitudinal studies are needed to determine whether LUTS can be affected by changes in alcohol consumption," they add.
(Reuters Health, March 2012)