Lower urinary tract symptoms and related help-seeking behaviour in South Asian men living in the UK


Joby Taylor, Department of Urology, Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Wakefield, W. Yorkshire, UK. e-mail: joby.taylor@midyorks.nhs.uk



To describe the pattern and prevalence of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and related help-seeking behaviour in men of South Asian origin living in the UK, and to compare this to the white population.


Data were obtained as part of the Leicestershire MRC Incontinence Study. Community-dwelling men aged >40 years were sent a postal questionnaire addressing urinary symptoms, bother and help-seeking. Prevalence rates of self-reported LUTS were compared on the basis of the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys ethnic classifications. Logistic regression was used to estimate the relative risk of symptoms between groups. Data from 7810 men were included in the analysis.


In all, 409 (5.3%) of the population sample described themselves as Asian; 36.5% of these men described at least one significant LUTS, vs 29.0% of white men. The overall prevalence rates for all storage symptoms were significantly higher in Asian men. Straining to void was the only voiding symptom to show a difference in prevalence between the groups. However, when controlling for age, Asian men were at greater risk for all symptoms except a weak urinary stream. Reported levels of bother and felt need were the same in both population groups, but actual help-seeking was significantly less in the Asian group. Only 25.0% of Asian men had actively sought help, compared to 53.1% of white men.


South Asian men in the UK have a higher risk of experiencing LUTS than white men from the same population. This increase in risk is greatest for storage symptoms. Although levels of bother are the same, South Asian men are less likely to seek help for their symptoms.