The prevalence of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and overactive bladder (OAB) by racial/ethnic group and age: results from OAB-POLL

Neurourol Urodyn. 2013 Mar;32(3):230-7. doi: 10.1002/nau.22295. Epub 2012 Jul 27.


Aims: To estimate the prevalence of LUTS and OAB in a large, ethnically diverse US study.

Methods: This cross-sectional, population-representative survey was conducted via the Internet in the US among 10,000 men and women aged 18-70 (2,000 African-Americans [AA], 2,000 Hispanics, 6,000 whites). The LUTS tool assessed how often participants experienced LUTS during the past 4 weeks on a five-point Likert scale. OAB was defined by the presence of urinary urgency ≥ "sometimes" or ≥ "often," and/or the presence of urgency urinary incontinence (UUI). Descriptive statistics were used to evaluate group differences. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the impact of racial/ethnic group on OAB.

Results: Response rate, 56.7%. Prevalent LUTS included terminal dribble and nocturia across gender, post-micturition leaking (men), and stress incontinence (women). Prevalence of OAB ≥ "sometimes" and ≥ "often" were 17% and 8% in men and 30% and 20% in women--with significantly higher rates among AA men and women. A similar trend was found for UUI among men (AA, 10%; Hispanic and whites, 6%), while AA and white women had higher prevalence of UUI (19%) as compared to Hispanic women (16%). In logistic regression analyses, AA and Hispanic men and women were significantly more likely than whites to have OAB despite having lower prevalence of self-reported comorbid conditions and risk factors.

Conclusions: LUTS and OAB are highly prevalent in both men and women and increase with advancing age. Further, racial/ethnic group is a robust predictor of OAB in men and women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Logistic Models
  • Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms / diagnosis
  • Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms / ethnology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sex Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Urinary Bladder, Overactive / diagnosis
  • Urinary Bladder, Overactive / ethnology*
  • White People / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult