Most people aged 40 and older report sometimes having symptoms.
MILAN—Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are highly prevalent among men and women aged 40 years and older, according to an online survey of 27,500 individuals in the United States and the United Kingdom.
The survey showed that more than two thirds of male and female respondents reported finding that they “sometimes experience LUTS,” researchers reported. And nearly half of them say they often have the symptoms. Findings were reported here at the European Association of Urology 23rd congress.
“Given the constellation of symptoms involved, individuals with LUTS form a diverse population with regard to symptoms, their severity, and their bother impact,” said Karen Coyne, PhD, MPH, a researcher with United BioSource Corporation in Bethesda, Md.
An earlier global, population-based survey of LUTS involving nearly 20,000 men and women 18 years of age or older found that about two-thirds reported at least one LUTS.
Mounting evidence suggests LUTS significantly impairs health-related quality of life, emotions, and work productivity and are “bothersome” to patients, Dr. Coyne said. However, there is no consistent definition of bother related to LUTS, she said, and the prevalence of overlapping storage, voiding, and post-micturition symptoms, and the degree of bother caused by symptom severity or individual or overlapping LUTS is unknown.
Survey participants were asked to rate how often they experienced a symptom during the past four weeks on a five-point Likert scale, and, if experienced, how much the symptom bothered them. Symptom groups were grouped based on International Continence Society definitions of voiding, storage, and post-micturition symptoms.
Results showed that roughly the same percent of men in both countries reported that they had experienced LUTS. Overall, 70% of men in the U.S. and 75% of men in the U.K. said that they had LUTS “sometimes or greater.”
The prevalence rates were especially high for some symptoms, she noted. For example, terminal dribble was reported by 43.1% and 54.1% of the two groups, respectively.
Prevalence rates were much lower when men were asked if they often (rather than sometimes) experienced LUTS (44% of U.S. and 47% of U.K. men). Similar findings for LUTS prevalence were observed in women.
The analysis also revealed that multiple symptoms or an overlap of storage, voiding, and post-micturition symptoms can be extremely bothersome. For example, about a fourth of men and women claimed to have a combination of voiding, storage, and post-micturition symptoms “somewhat or greater” and 74% to 92% in this group reported that these symptoms were “somewhat or more” bothersome.
In addition, 7% to 9% of both men and women reported a combination of voiding, storage, and post-micturition symptoms “often or greater,” and 90% to 98% in this group reported that these symptoms were “somewhat or more” bothersome.
“To provide the most effective treatment for underlying conditions such as overactive bladder, enlarged prostate, and bladder and prostate cancer, urologists should assess individual and overlapping storage, voiding, and post-micturition symptoms in both men and women,”
Dr. Coyne said.