National community prevalence of overactive bladder in the United States stratified by sex and age

Urology. 2011 May;77(5):1081-7. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2010.08.039. Epub 2011 Jan 22.


Objective: To estimate the prevalence of and bother associated with overactive bladder (OAB) in adults aged ≥40 years in the United States, using current International Continence Society definitions.

Methods: Internet-based panel members were selected randomly to participate in EpiLUTS, a cross-sectional, population-representative survey. Participants used Likert scales to rate how often they experienced individual lower urinary tract symptoms during the previous 4 weeks and how much bother they experienced. Based on responses to questions regarding urgency and urgency urinary incontinence, OAB symptoms were categorized as occurring at least "sometimes" or at least "often." Symptom bother was categorized as at least "somewhat" or at least "quite a bit."

Results: The response rate was 59.6%, with a final sample of 9416 men and 10,584 women. Prevalence of OAB symptoms at least "sometimes" was 27.2% and 43.1% for men and women, respectively; prevalence of OAB at least "often" was 15.8% and 32.6%, respectively. Among men with OAB symptoms at least "sometimes," 60.0% were bothered at least "somewhat" and 27.8% were bothered at least "quite a bit." Among women, bother rates were 67.6% and 38.9%, respectively. Among respondents with OAB at least "often," 67.8% and 38.2% of men and 73.0% and 47.1% of women reported being bothered at least "somewhat" and at least "quite a bit," respectively. We estimate that 29.8 million adults aged ≥40 years in the United States have bothersome OAB symptoms.

Conclusions: Bothersome OAB symptoms are highly prevalent among men and women aged ≥40 years in the United States.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Distribution
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Urinary Bladder, Overactive / diagnosis
  • Urinary Bladder, Overactive / epidemiology*