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J Urol. 2009 Feb;181(2):694-700. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2008.10.039. Epub 2008 Dec 16.

Association of urological symptoms and chronic illness in men and women: contributions of symptom severity and duration--results from the BACH Survey.

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  • 1New England Research Institutes, Watertown, Massachusetts 02472, USA. vkupelian@neriscience.com



We investigated the association between lower urinary tract symptoms and chronic illness, such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and depression, in men and women. In addition, we determined whether a dose-response relationship exists in the association between the severity and duration of urological symptoms and major chronic illnesses.


The Boston Area Community Health Survey used a multistage stratified design to recruit a random sample of 5,503 adults who were 30 to 79 years old. Urological symptoms in the American Urological Association symptom index were included in analysis.


Statistically significant associations that were consistent by gender were observed between depression and all urological symptoms. Nocturia of any degree of severity or duration was associated with heart disease in men and with diabetes in women. In men a dose-response relationship was observed for the association of symptom severity and/or the duration of urinary intermittency and frequency with heart disease, and for the association of urinary urgency with diabetes. In women a history of heart disease was associated with a weak stream and straining, while a history of hypertension was associated with urgency and a weak stream.


Results indicate a dose-response relationship in the association of the severity and duration of urological symptoms with major chronic illnesses. An association between urinary symptoms and depression was observed in men and women. In contrast, the association between lower urinary tract symptoms and heart disease, diabetes or hypertension varied by gender, suggesting different mechanisms of association in men and women.

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