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Keywords:

  • LUTS;
  • BPH;
  • OAB;
  • treatment seeking;
  • bother;
  • prevalence

OBJECTIVE

To assess the (i) the overlap between voiding, storage, and postmicturition symptoms; and (ii) the relative effect of bother and implications for treatment seeking within these symptom groups, using data from the EpiLUTS study.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS

This cross-sectional population-representative survey was conducted via the Internet in the USA, the UK and Sweden. Participants were asked to rate the frequency and symptom-specific bother of individual LUTS. Descriptive statistics were used to examine differences in International Continence Society LUTS subgroups. Logistc regressions were used with treatment seeking as the dependent variable and the bother of individual symptoms as predictors.

RESULTS

The survey response rate was 59%. The sample included 30 000 participants (14 139 men and 15 861 women); 71% of men and 75% of women reported at least one LUTS, and about half reported LUTS from more than one symptom group. Rates of bother were greatest for those who reported multiple storage, voiding and postmicturition LUTS (men 83%, women 89%). Less than a third of participants with LUTS from all three groups reported seeking treatment. Consistent correlates of treatment seeking across genders included bother due to weak stream, incomplete emptying, perceived daytime frequency, nocturia and urgency. There were also significant associations for several types of incontinence, most commonly stress incontinence in women and leaking during sexual activity in men. Despite high rates of symptom overlap and symptom-specific bother, few participants sought treatment for LUTS.

CONCLUSION

Common conditions such as BPH and OAB are treatable, and clinicians should proactively ask patients about urinary symptoms. Given the many types of LUTS that patients experience, it is imperative that clinicians assess all LUTS to ensure that appropriate treatments are prescribed.