• benign prostatic hyperplasia;
  • dutasteride;
  • health status;
  • quality of life;
  • bother;
  • BPH Impact Index


To examine the effect of the dual-action 5α−reductase inhibitor dutasteride on benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)-specific health status, as measured by the BPH Impact Index (BII), and to identify baseline and treatment risk factors for those most bothered by their BPH symptoms at the end of the protocol.


Data were derived from three randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 2-year studies conducted in 4325 men with lower urinary tract symptoms caused by benign prostatic enlargement. Each study comprised a 1-month single-blind placebo run-in period, followed by randomization to oral dutasteride 0.5 mg once daily or placebo for 2 years. Patients eligible for inclusion were consenting men aged ≥ 50 years with moderate to severe symptoms (American Urological Symptom Index, AUA-SI, score ≥ 12), a prostate volume of ≥ 30 mL, a serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level of ≥ 1.5 or < 10 ng/mL, and a maximum urinary flow rate (Qmax) of ≤ 15 mL/s. BII scores were recorded at baseline and each study visit. Clinically and statistically significant changes in BII scores from baseline were investigated for each study visit. Logistical regression analysis was used to assess the significance of baseline prostate volume, symptoms, BII item 3, baseline Qmax, serum dihydrotestosterone, testosterone, PSA, age and weight in predicting the BII score at 2 years.


Dutasteride, but not placebo, resulted in clinically and statistically significant improvements in mean BII score from 6 months. Of patients with a baseline BII score of ≥ 5 (greatest symptomatic burden) treatment with dutasteride improved the scores by 2.41, while the scores in placebo-treated patients only improved by 1.64. Dutasteride-treated patients with a baseline BII score of < 5 (least symptom burden) had a clinically significant improvement in health status, while placebo-treated patients deteriorated. Regression analysis showed that men with a combination of a baseline BII item-3 score of 3 (bothered a lot) and a high symptom score (AUA-SI ≥ 20) were more likely to be bothered by their symptoms at the end of the study. Men receiving placebo were also more likely to be bothered at the end of the study than were those receiving dutasteride.


Dutasteride treatment is associated with clinically significant improvements in BII score, reflecting improvements in the quality of life of men with BPH. Taken together with previously reported improvements in prostate volume, lower urinary tract symptoms and urinary flow, and diminution of the risk of acute urinary retention and the need for BPH-related surgery, dutasteride offers demonstrable efficacy in the management of BPH.