Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) by severity (using the International Prostate Symptom Score, IPSS) in a population-based study of men aged > or = 20 years, and to assess the association between putative risk factors and the presence of moderate to severe LUTS.
Subjects and methods: Between 1995 and 1997, LUTS data were collected from 21 694 male residents aged > or = 20 years in Nord Trøndelag County in Norway, using the IPSS; from the IPSS (score 0-35) LUTS was defined as a score of > or = 8, indicating moderate to severe symptoms. We estimated the prevalence of LUTS and used logistic regression analysis to study lifestyle and anthropometric factors, and comorbidity related to LUTS.
Results: The overall prevalence of moderate to severe LUTS was 15.8% (13.2% moderate and 2.6% severe). The prevalence of LUTS increased strongly with age, from approximately 5% among men aged < 40 years to > 30% when aged > or = 70 years. Factors positively associated with an increased risk of moderate and severe LUTS were anthropometric (body mass index and waist hip ratio) and lifestyle factors (alcohol consumption and smoking), as well as comorbid conditions, including diabetes, history of stroke, muscle complaints and osteoarthritis.
Conclusion: The findings from this population-based study suggest that the prevalence of LUTS among men aged > or = 20 years may be lower than previously estimated. Although LUTS may be viewed as an inevitable consequence of ageing, it appears to be exacerbated by lifestyle factors and comorbid conditions.