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Eur Urol. 1998 Oct;34(4):325-32.

The natural history of untreated lower urinary tract symptoms in middle-aged and elderly men over a period of five years.

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Department of Public Health Sciences, Medical School, University of Edinburgh, Druim Mhor by Loch Alvie, Inverness-shire, Bridge of Allan Health Centre, Cowie Health Centre, Bannockburn Health Centre, UK.



To describe changes in untreated lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), levels of bothersomeness and interference in selected living activities arising from LUTS in a cohort of men followed up for a period of 5 years.


1,994 men aged 40-79 years registered in four health centres in Scotland completed a urinary symptom questionnaire in the community. 1,177 (71% of original eligible participants) were followed up at 5 years.


The mean level of LUTS and the level of bothersomeness they caused increased universally between baseline and 5 years. The largest increases in mean symptom levels occurred for straining, hesitancy, incomplete emptying, weak stream and nocturia, and for mean levels of bothersomeness, i.e. dribbling, incomplete emptying, weak stream, frequency, nocturia and intermittency. The increase in mean interference level in selected living activities arising from LUTS was less marked. The progression of LUTS over time in individual men was very variable; however, the overall trend was one of continuing deterioration.


If left untreated, overall levels of middle-aged and elderly mens' LUTS, bothersomeness and interference in selected activities caused by these symptoms will increase over time.

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