Worldwide prevalence estimates of lower urinary tract symptoms, overactive bladder, urinary incontinence and bladder outlet obstruction

BJU Int. 2011 Oct;108(7):1132-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2010.09993.x. Epub 2011 Jan 13.


Objective: • To estimate and predict worldwide and regional prevalence of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), overactive bladder (OAB), urinary incontinence (UI) and LUTS suggestive of bladder outlet obstruction (LUTS/BOO) in 2008, 2013 and 2018 based on current International Continence Society symptom definitions in adults aged ≥20 years.

Patients and methods: • Numbers and prevalence of individuals affected by each condition were calculated with an estimation model using gender- and age-stratified prevalence data from the EPIC study along with gender- and age-stratified worldwide and regional population estimates from the US Census Bureau International Data Base.

Results: • An estimated 45.2%, 10.7%, 8.2% and 21.5% of the 2008 worldwide population (4.3 billion) was affected by at least one LUTS, OAB, UI and LUTS/BOO, respectively. By 2018, an estimated 2.3 billion individuals will be affected by at least one LUTS (18.4% increase), 546 million by OAB (20.1%), 423 million by UI (21.6%) and 1.1 billion by LUTS/BOO (18.5%). • The regional burden of these conditions is estimated to be greatest in Asia, with numbers of affected individuals expected to increase most in the developing regions of Africa (30.1-31.1% increase across conditions, 2008-2018), South America (20.5-24.7%) and Asia (19.7-24.4%).

Conclusions: • This model suggests that LUTS, OAB, UI and LUTS/BOO are highly prevalent conditions worldwide. Numbers of affected individuals are projected to increase with time, with the greatest increase in burden anticipated in developing regions. • There are important worldwide public-health and clinical management implications to be considered over the next decade to effectively prevent and manage these conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Urinary Bladder Neck Obstruction / epidemiology*
  • Urinary Bladder, Overactive / epidemiology*
  • Urinary Incontinence / epidemiology*