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Study Reveals No Link between Painkillers and Enlarged Prostate

Contrary to recent studies, a new research finds no evidence linking painkillers to enlarged prostate. Studies in the past linked benign prostatic hyperplasia (the medical term for enlarged prostate) with the regular use of NSAIDs—non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that include painkillers like naproxen, ibuprofen and aspirin. These findings were published in the British Journal of Urology International.

Lead researcher Siobhan Sutcliffe explained that benign prostatic hyperplasia is thought to have something to do with inflammation. Accordingly, this brings up the possibility that NSAIDs could help reduce the enlargement of the prostate.

The researchers explained that a man’s prostate gland would naturally enlarge as he ages. With an enlarged prostate come related problems like incontinence, urine leakage or frequent trips to the restroom. According to the National Institutes of Health, around 4.5 million visits to the doctor are made due to benign prostatic hyperplasia.

In 2006, researchers hinted that NSAIDs could offer relief or protection. Of around 2,500 men, those who used NSAIDs became less likely to develop benign prostatic hyperplasia. However, this type of research only showed evidence between the use of painkillers and its result lowering the risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia. But there is no proof that NSAIDs could actually prevent enlarged prostate.

So Sutcliffe’s team, for the next nine years, tried to confirm the link between painkillers and enlarged prostate. Of the 4,771 men who took part of the cancer-screening process, 31 percent were diagnosed with benign prostatic hyperplasia. No evidence, on the other hand, was present to show that the risk was lower for men who had been using NSAIDs since the start of the research.

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