• epidemiology;
  • ethnic group;
  • OAB;
  • prevalence;
  • race



To estimate the prevalence of LUTS and OAB in a large, ethnically diverse US study.


This cross-sectional, population-representative survey was conducted via the Internet in the US among 10,000 men and women aged 18–70 (2,000 African-Americans [AA], 2,000 Hispanics, 6,000 whites). The LUTS tool assessed how often participants experienced LUTS during the past 4 weeks on a five-point Likert scale. OAB was defined by the presence of urinary urgency ≥ “sometimes” or ≥ “often,” and/or the presence of urgency urinary incontinence (UUI). Descriptive statistics were used to evaluate group differences. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the impact of racial/ethnic group on OAB.


Response rate, 56.7%. Prevalent LUTS included terminal dribble and nocturia across gender, post-micturition leaking (men), and stress incontinence (women). Prevalence of OAB ≥ “sometimes” and ≥ “often” were 17% and 8% in men and 30% and 20% in women—with significantly higher rates among AA men and women. A similar trend was found for UUI among men (AA, 10%; Hispanic and whites, 6%), while AA and white women had higher prevalence of UUI (19%) as compared to Hispanic women (16%). In logistic regression analyses, AA and Hispanic men and women were significantly more likely than whites to have OAB despite having lower prevalence of self-reported comorbid conditions and risk factors.


LUTS and OAB are highly prevalent in both men and women and increase with advancing age. Further, racial/ethnic group is a robust predictor of OAB in men and women. Neurourol. Urodynam. 32: 230–237, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.