Sex Differences in Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms in Older Korean Adults Living in Rural Areas: Prevalence, Quality of Life, and Associated Factors

Urinary incontinence (UI) is associated with nursing home admission, functional decline, and risk of death among community-dwelling older adults. Little information, however, is available on sex differences in lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in older Korean adults exclusively living in rural areas. This study examined sex-related differences in LUTS, factors associated with UI in older adults living in rural areas, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in incontinent older adults.

This was a cross-sectional study in which face-to-face interviews were conducted at 15 rural community-health centres. A total of 323 older adults aged ≥65 years from rural areas of Korea participated. LUTS prevalence was evaluated and HRQoL was measured using the King's Health Questionnaire. The chi-square test and t -test were used to examine sex differences in characteristics, LUTS, and HRQoL. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify risk factors associated with UI.

Nocturia was the most prevalent symptom, affecting 87% of men and 86% of women. Women (53%) had significantly more UI of any kind than did men (35%) (P=0.007). Urgency UI was the most frequent type of UI in men, whereas stress UI was the most frequent in women. Regarding HRQoL, men had significantly higher scores in the domains of sleep/energy disturbances (P=0.032) than did women, and women reported greater effects from the severity of incontinence (P=0.001) than did men. Arthritis was the only factor associated with UI in men (odds ratio [OR], 6.88; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.46-32.36). However, women with diabetes mellitus were less likely to have UI than those without (OR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.23-0.82).

LUTS were found to be highly prevalent in community-dwelling older Korean adults in rural areas. Interventions to improve sleep and to reduce UI severity are needed for incontinent men and women, respectively.

International neurourology journal. 2018 Sep 28 [Epub]

Jeongok Park, Eun Sook Kim, Young Joo Lee, Hyo Serk Lee, Ju Tae Seo

Mo-Im Kim Nursing Research Institute, College of Nursing, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea., College of Nursing, Daegu Catholic University, Daegu, Korea., Department of Urology, Cheil General Hospital & Women's Healthcare Center, Dankook University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.