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Keywords:

  • LUTS;
  • epidemiology;
  • prevalence;
  • sexual dysfunction;
  • comorbidities;
  • clinical management

Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) include storage, voiding, and postmicturition symptoms, and occur commonly in both men and women. Findings from two recent epidemiological studies, the Epidemiology of LUTS study and the Boston Area Community Health survey, further extend the understanding of the prevalence of individual LUTS, the overlap of LUTS in men and women, the associations of LUTS with other comorbid conditions, the impact of LUTS on health-related quality of life (HRQL), and the relationships between frequency and bother of LUTS and treatment-seeking behaviour. Examining the clinical implications of these findings might provide directions to physicians for managing their patients with LUTS. For example, common findings of separate patient groups spanning a spectrum from those with typically one urinary symptom of mild to moderate severity to those with multiple more severe LUTS and frequent comorbidities might further encourage the diagnosis and treatment of comorbid conditions as a standard part of the management of patients with LUTS. Likewise, understanding that the impact of LUTS on HRQL and the degree of bother, rather than the frequency of LUTS, are significant drivers for treatment seeking might aid in assisting patients to make decisions about treatment.