Covid infection may worsen urological issues in men: Study

Hong Kong, Oct 18 (IANS) The SARS-CoV-2 infection may worsen Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms in men.

The Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS) refer to a group of clinical symptoms involving the bladder, urinary sphincter, urethra and, in men, the prostate.

The term is more commonly applied to men as over 40 per cent of older men are affected. The study, published in the ‘Journal of Internal Medicine’, showed that Covid infection is associated with increased incidence of urinary retention, haematuria, UTI and the addition of combination therapy in the short term.

Researchers included 17,986 men receiving medication for LUTS within the public health care system of Hong Kong in 2021–2022, half of whom had SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The group with SARS-CoV-2 had significantly higher rates of retention of urine (4.55 per cent versus 0.86 per cent); blood in the urine (1.36 per cent versus 0.41 per cent); clinical urinary tract infection (4.31 per cent versus 1.49 per cent); bacteria in the urine (9.02 per cent versus 1.97 per cent); and addition of 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, which are drugs prescribed for enlarged prostate (0.50 per cent versus 0.02 per cent).

These urological manifestations occurred regardless of Covid-19 severity.

This is the largest study demonstrating the detrimental urological effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection, said the team from the Prince of Wales Hospital, in Hong Kong.

The findings might relate to the presence of certain proteins targeted by SARS-CoV-2 that are known to be expressed in the prostate.

“We are excited to be the first to report the effects of Covid-19 on complications of benign prostatic hyperplasia — or enlarged prostate — and also demonstrate the alarming extent of its urological effects,” said corresponding author Alex Qinyang Liu, from the Hospital.

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