Aims: Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are categorised as storage (urgency, frequency, nocturia and incontinence), voiding (sensation of incomplete emptying, hesitancy, weak stream and straining) or mixed symptoms.
Methods: In this US population-based study, we investigated the prevalence of male LUTS and the relative frequency of the LUTS subtypes, and we evaluated associations between LUTS and age, race/ethnicity and erectile dysfunction (ED). The Male Attitudes Regarding Sexual Health study included a nationally representative sample of non-Hispanic black, non-Hispanic white and Hispanic men aged ≥ 40 years. Participants completed a questionnaire including items on ED and the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS). The prevalence and subtypes of LUTS were investigated post hoc by age, race/ethnicity and the presence of ED.
Results: The overall prevalence rates of storage (13%) and mixed (9%) symptoms were higher than that of voiding symptoms (6%). The prevalence of storage symptoms was similar across age groups, whereas voiding and mixed symptoms increased with age. Among men with IPSS ≥ 8, the rates of storage (29%) and mixed (38%) symptoms were also higher than voiding symptoms (23%). Distributions of the LUTS subtypes were comparable among black, white and Hispanic respondents with IPSS ≥ 8. The overall prevalence rate of ED (40%) increased with age among those with IPSS ≥ 8. Isolated storage symptoms were more than twice as common as isolated voiding symptoms among US men ≥ 40 years of age.
Conclusion: Careful attention to individual symptoms may help distinguish storage LUTS from voiding LUTS, a distinction that has important implications for treatment.