Introduction: It is general acknowledgement that obesity is associated with a systemic, low-grade inflammatory state. Although the relationship between obesity and semen parameters or prostate diseases has been previously investigated, the association between body mass index (BMI), prostate inflammatory diseases and colour-Doppler ultrasound (CDU) features of the male genital tract (MGT) has been poorly studied. This study was aimed at evaluating the association between BMI and CDU features of the MGT, signs and symptoms of prostate inflammation, along with semen parameters.
Methods: We studied 222 men seeking medical care for couple infertility. According to WHO classification, subjects were divided into 3 groups: normal weight (n=131, BMI=18.524.9 kg/m2), overweight (n=71, BMI=25.029.9 kg/m2), obese (n=20, BMI≥30.0 kg/m2). All patients underwent simultaneous testosterone evaluation and seminal analysis, including interleukin 8 (sIL8), along with scrotal and transrectal CDU, before and after ejaculation. Prostatitis symptoms were evaluated by National Institutes of Health-Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index questionnaire.
Results: After adjusting for age and testosterone levels, higher BMI was significantly related to higher prostate volume and several CDU features of the prostate, including macro-calcifications, inhomogeneity, higher arterial peak systolic velocity (the latter adjusted also for blood pressure), but not with abnormalities of testis, epididymis, seminal vesicles. Furthermore, higher BMI and BMI class were significantly related to higher sIL8, a reliable surrogate marker of prostate inflammatory diseases, even after adjustment for age. Conversely, no associations among BMI, clinical symptoms of prostatitis or semen parameters were observed.
Conclusions: Subjects with higher BMI might develop CDU and biochemical signs suggestive of prostate inflammation, although not clinically overt.
Declaration of interest: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research project.
Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector.
05 - 09 May 2012
European Society of Endocrinology