From April 2009 to March 2011 in BEACH, benign prostatic hyperplasia/hypertrophy (BPH) was managed at a rate of six per 1000 general practice encounters with male patients aged 18 years and over, suggesting it was managed by general practitioners about 228 000 times per year nationally.
Two-thirds of the men at encounters for BPH were aged 65 years or older, so it was no surprise that patients were more likely than average to carry Commonwealth healthcare cards and Veterans' Affairs cards, and less likely to be new patients to the practice. More than 1% of encounters with male patients aged 65 years and over included management of BPH. There were no BPH encounters with men aged less than 45 years.
Compared with all problems managed at BEACH encounters, BPH was managed with low rates of medications prescribed, supplied or advised, and low rates of other treatments. Referrals to specialists were provided at three times the average rate, and pathology and imaging tests were ordered at twice the usual rate (Figure 1).
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