Objective: To ascertain the prevalence of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and urinary incontinence (UI) in Canada, using a cross-Canada telephone survey, as there is a wide discrepancy in the reported prevalence of these conditions.
Subjects and methods: A random survey with a standardized questionnaire was conducted to elicit responses from 1000 adults, aged >or= 18 years; the sample was intended to reflect the population census. Data on age, level of education and household income were obtained from all respondents. All participants were questioned about urinary symptoms and daytime and night-time voids. For those who reported more symptoms than one episode of nocturia a more detailed questionnaire was used to ascertain symptom severity and duration.
Results: Data were analysed from 1000 respondents (482 men, mean age 44 years; 518 women, mean age 45 years). Half the respondents (43% of men and 57% of women) reported one or more LUTS, with nocturia the most common, at 36%. Overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms (urgency, with or with no urgency UI, usually with frequency and nocturia) were reported by 13.9% of respondents (13.1% of men and 14.7% of women). UI was reported by 28.8% of women with the 68% of these having stress UI (SUI), followed by mixed UI (MUI) in 21%, and urgency UI (UUI) in 11%. Of the 5.4% of men with UI, 27% had SUI, 15% had MUI, and 58% had UUI. Overall, the prevalence of LUTS increased with age. Respondents reported that symptoms were present for a median of 5 years.
Conclusion: LUTS and UI are common in the Canadian population and increase with age. The prevalence in Canada of these conditions is similar to that seen in other countries.