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Urology. 2002 Feb;59(2):245-50.

Quality-of-life impact of lower urinary tract symptom severity: results from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

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Behavioral and Mental Health Research Division, Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.



To estimate the magnitude of the quality-of-life impact of lower urinary tract symptom (LUTS) severity using a large (n = 8406) sample of U.S. men participating in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.


Multiple regression modeling was used to estimate the relative quality-of-life burden of different levels of LUTS severity (defined using the American Urological Association Symptom Index as none-mild symptoms, 0 to 7; low moderate, 8 to 14; high moderate, 15 to 19; and severe, 20 to 35) and to compare these with age-matched U.S. male norms. A standardized and validated measure of both LUTS severity (the American Urological Association Symptom Index) and a widely used, standardized, multidimensional measure of quality of life (Short Form 36) were used. In addition, the relative impact of severe LUTS on the quality of life was compared with that experienced for other chronic illness conditions (diabetes, angina, hypertension, gout).


The results showed that high-moderate LUTS was associated with small to moderate deficits in anxious and depressed mood and poorer role functioning related to emotional problems arising from illness. Severe LUTS was associated with additional quality-of-life deficits related to vitality and the ability to work and carry out daily tasks as a result of illness. Comparisons of the severe LUTS patient group with four other chronic illness groups showed vitality/energy, in particular, but also role functioning and depressed and anxious feelings, to be poorer in the severe LUTS group.


Men with high-moderate and severe LUTS identified in a large U.S. cohort have a poorer health status in several important quality-of-life dimensions. The detection and effective treatment of LUTS may substantially improve the health status for these men in these dimensions.

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