Objective: Estimate the prevalence of urinary incontinence (UI), overactive bladder (OAB), and other lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) among men and women in five countries using the 2002 International Continence Society (ICS) definitions.
Methods: This population-based, cross-sectional survey was conducted between April and December 2005 in Canada, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and the United Kingdom using computer-assisted telephone interviews. A random sample of men and women aged >/= 18 yr residing in the five countries and who were representative of the general populations in these countries was selected. Using 2002 ICS definitions, the prevalence estimates of storage, voiding, and postmicturition LUTS were calculated. Data were stratified by country, age cohort, and gender.
Results: A total of 19,165 individuals agreed to participate; 64.3% reported at least one LUTS. Nocturia was the most prevalent LUTS (men, 48.6%; women, 54.5%). The prevalence of storage LUTS (men, 51.3%; women, 59.2%) was greater than that for voiding (men, 25.7%; women, 19.5%) and postmicturition (men, 16.9%; women, 14.2%) symptoms combined. The overall prevalence of OAB was 11.8%; rates were similar in men and women and increased with age. OAB was more prevalent than all types of UI combined (9.4%).
Conclusions: The EPIC study is the largest population-based survey to assess prevalence rates of OAB, UI, and other LUTS in five countries. To date, this is the first study to evaluate these symptoms simultaneously using the 2002 ICS definitions. The results indicate that these symptoms are highly prevalent in the countries surveyed.