Association of physician specialty and medical therapy for benign prostatic hyperplasia

Leona C. Han, Simon P. Kim*, Cary P. Gross, Joseph S. Ross, Holly K. Van Houten, Marc C. Smaldone, Amy E. Krambeck, Nilay D. Shah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Despite little available evidence to determine whether recently introduced selective α-1 blockers and 5-α reductase inhibitors (5-ARIs) are superior to the existing agents in treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), they are being increasingly prescribed. Objective: To describe the prescribing patterns of new and existing agents among patients with incident BPH after the introduction of several new agents and determine whether these varied by physician specialty. Research design: We analyzed a retrospective cohort from an administrative claims database from January 2004 through December 2010. Subjects: Patients diagnosed with incident BPH aged 40 years and above and those who received medical management. Measures: Receipt of medical therapy for incident BPH (ie, selective α-1 blockers [prazosin (released 1976), terazosin (1987), doxazosin (1990), tamsulosin (1997), alfuzosin (2003), silodosin (2009)] and 5-ARIs [finasteride (1992) and dutasteride (2002)]). Results: A total of 42,769 men with incident BPH received any selective α-1 blocker or 5-ARI. Tamsulosin and dutasteride were the most widely prescribed agents of their respective drug classes. Predicted probabilities showed that urologists were more likely to prescribe alfuzosin (24.0% vs. 7.8%; P<0.001) and silodosin (2.3% vs. 0.4%; P<0.001) when compared with primary care providers (PCPs) at 6 months after diagnosis. Urologists were more likely to prescribe 5-ARIs but less likely to prescribe older α-1 blockers (terazosin, prazosin, and doxazosin) than PCPs at 6 months postdiagnosis. Conclusions: Among insured patients diagnosed with BPH, our study suggests that the overall use of new agents is rising. In particular, urologists were more likely to prescribe newer selective α-1 blockers compared with PCPs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-136
Number of pages9
JournalMedical care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • administrative data
  • evidence base medicine
  • physician practice patterns
  • physician specialty
  • urologic diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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