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BJU Int. 2009 Apr;103 Suppl 3:24-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2009.08438.x.

Risk factors and comorbid conditions associated with lower urinary tract symptoms: EpiLUTS.

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United BioSource Corporation, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.



To explore the risk factors and comorbid conditions associated with subgroups of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in men and women aged > or =40 years in three countries, using data from the EpiLUTS study, as LUTS are common amongst men and women and increase in prevalence with age.


This cross-sectional, population-representative survey was conducted via the Internet in the USA, the UK and Sweden. Participants were asked to rate how often they experienced individual LUTS during the past 4 weeks on a 5-point Likert scale. Eight LUTS subgroups were created. Descriptive statistics and logistic regressions within each LUTS subgroup were used to assess the data.


The survey response rate was 59%. The final sample was 30,000 (men and women). The voiding + storage + postmicturition (VSPM) group reported the highest rates of comorbid conditions for both men and women, and the fewest were reported in the no/minimal LUTS and the postmicturition-only groups. Increasing age was associated with increasing LUTS in men, but not in women. Comorbid conditions significantly associated with the VSPM group were arthritis, asthma, chronic anxiety, depression, diabetes (men only), heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, neurological conditions, recurrent urinary tract infection, and sleep disorders. Risk factors, such as body mass index, exercise level and smoking, played less of a role, except for childhood nocturnal enuresis, which was significantly associated with most LUTS subgroups.


In this large population study, many comorbid conditions and risk factors were significantly associated with LUTS among both men and women. Further longitudinal investigations of the associations noted here would help physicians to understand the pathophysiology of LUTS and comorbid conditions, and provide clinical guidelines for patient management of comorbid conditions sharing common pathophysiological pathways.

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