Healthcare resource utilization and cost among males with lower urinary tract symptoms with a predominant storage component in Spain: The epidemiological, cross-sectional MERCURY study

Neurourol Urodyn. 2018 Jan;37(1):307-315. doi: 10.1002/nau.23293. Epub 2017 May 2.


Aims: To assess the relationship between storage-predominant LUTS and healthcare resource consumption and cost among males in Spain.

Methods: In this non-interventional, cross-sectional study, urologists enrolled males with storage-predominant LUTS and recorded the consumption of healthcare resources (medical visits, diagnostic tests/monitoring, treatment, and hospitalizations) within the previous 6 months. The cost of healthcare resources was calculated from unit costs extracted from a Spanish eHealth database. Severity of LUTS was assessed by the Bladder Self-Assessment Questionnaire (BSAQ) and patients were stratified by symptom score (<6 or ≥6) to assess the relationship between LUTS severity and healthcare resource consumption and cost.

Results: Among 610 enrolled patients (BSAQ symptom score <6, n = 191; BSAQ symptom score ≥6, n = 419), the majority (87.7%) consumed healthcare resources during the previous 6 months in the form of medical visits (86.2%), diagnostic tests/monitoring (83.4%), and treatment (85.9%). Patients with BSAQ symptom scores ≥6 used more healthcare resources compared with patients with BSAQ symptom scores <6. The most common treatments for LUTS were α-blockers used as monotherapy (n = 229 [37.5%]) or in combination with antimuscarinics (n = 227 [37.2%]). The estimated median annual cost was €1070 per patient, consisting of diagnostic tests/monitoring (54.6%), medical visits (20.5%), and treatment (29.6%), and was higher in patients with BSAQ symptom score ≥6 (€1127) than in patients with BSAQ symptom score <6 (€920; P < 0.001).

Conclusions: More severe LUTS are associated with higher healthcare consumption and cost. These findings highlight the importance of symptom management in LUTS patients to help minimize healthcare consumption and cost.

Keywords: cost of illness; lower urinary tract symptoms; overactive bladder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine
  • Endpoint Determination
  • Health Resources / economics*
  • Humans
  • Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms / economics*
  • Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscarinic Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Self-Assessment
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists
  • Muscarinic Antagonists