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Korean J Urol. 2014 May;55(5):300-8. doi: 10.4111/kju.2014.55.5.300. Epub 2014 May 12.

Epidemiology of lower urinary tract symptoms: emphasis on the status in Korea.

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Department of Urology, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.


A comprehensive and correct understanding of epidemiologic finding about lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) is important for several reasons. First, LUTS are highly prevalent in both genders all around the world and are expected to be a major concern to physicians in the near future because of the rapid rise in the elderly population. Second, it is crucial to observe trends in prevalence when national health care policy is established. By using a Medline search with various terms related to LUTS and prevalence, a review of epidemiologic studies was undertaken with an emphasis on the status in Korea. Despite the suggestions made by the International Continence Society, the lack of uniform definitions and the lack of a unified threshold of symptoms are the biggest obstacles in epidemiologic study with regard to LUTS. Most Korean epidemiologic studies on LUTS have been reported since 2000 and reveal that the prevalences of specific clinical conditions, such as LUTS, benign prostatic hyperplasia, overactive bladder, and detrusor underactivity, are in line with prevalences in Western counties. However, the prevalence of nocturia is somewhat different from that in Western countries. Many epidemiologic studies of LUTS have provided us with valuable information and a better understanding of the clinical conditions. Given that the impact of these clinical conditions on quality of life and health care cost will be emphasized more in the near future, more studies on optimal management approaches to LUTS are needed on the basis of this knowledge.


Epidemiology; Korea; Lower urinary tract symptoms; Urinary bladder

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