The future magnitude of urological symptoms in the USA: projections using the Boston Area Community Health survey


Heather J. Litman, Research Scientist, New England Research Institutes, 9 Galen Street, Watertown, MA 02472, USA e-mail:



To use the population-based data from the Boston Area Community Health (BACH) Survey to estimate the likely magnitude (prevalence) of urological symptoms in the USA population in 2025, as health-services researchers use projections of the likely magnitude of disease to inform decisions on the future allocation of health resources.


Age and gender-specific prevalence rates from BACH were combined with USA population projections to estimate the likely magnitude of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and symptoms suggestive of urine leakage, painful bladder syndrome (PBlS) and prostatitis (men only).


In total and accounting for overlapping symptoms, 52 million adults in the USA will have symptoms of LUTS, urine leakage, PBlS or prostatitis in 2025. These urological symptoms have a large impact on physical and mental aspects of quality of life, that is comparable to other chronic conditions.


The future magnitude of symptoms indicative of these four urological conditions might reach the current level of cardiovascular disease in the USA, which is considered ‘a modern epidemic.’ Our projections have important implications for medical education, training of healthcare providers, health-services research, and policy and patient education.