Assessing the Prevalence and Bother of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Sweden: EpiLUTS

Introduction and Objectives

No population-based studies evaluating the prevalence of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in the US using the 2002 ICS definitions have been conducted.

The objective of EpiLUTS was to estimate the prevalence and associated bother of LUTS in the general US, UK, and Swedish populations using ICS definitions.

Materials

This cross-sectional, population representative survey was conducted via the Internet in the US, UK, and Sweden. Target samples were determined from the population census demographics of men and women ≥ 40 years. Members of web-based panels were randomly selected to receive an email invitation to participate in the survey. If interested, respondents clicked on a link to an informed consent followed by the survey. Participants were asked to rate how often they experienced individual LUTS during the past 4 weeks on a 5-point Likert scale (never, rarely, sometimes, often, almost always), and, if experienced, how much the symptom bothered them (not at all, a little bit, somewhat, quite a bit, a great deal).

Results

The responses rates for the US, UK, and Sweden were 59.6%, 60.6% and 52.3%, respectively with a final sample of 30,000 (US 20,000; UK 7,500; SW 2,500). Mean age was 56.6 years; 82.9% White, 6.7% Black, 6.0% Hispanic, and 4.4% Other. Each sample represented the population census of each country. The table displays the prevalence of LUTS by 2 symptom frequency cutoffs: ≥ “sometimes” and ≥ “often” for all LUTS, except incontinence, where frequency cutoffs are ≥ “a few times month” and ≥ “a few times week”. For the majority of LUTS, at least 50% of participants were bothered “somewhat” or greater with a > “sometimes” frequency cutpoint. For a ≥ “often” cutpoint, “somewhat” or > bother was experienced by ≥70% of participants except for terminal dribble in men and split stream in women.

Conclusions

In this large population study of 3 countries, LUTS are highly prevalent among men and women over age 40. In general, LUTS experienced “often” or more are bothersome to most people.

Keywords

prevalence, lower urinary tract symptoms, bother

Table 1

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