Researchers have published the first-ever estimate of the prevalence of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), overactive bladder and urinary incontinence in the population of western Turkey.
The research, which appears in the International Journal of Urology, suggests that urinary symptoms are highly prevalent in the general population, being reported by more than 70% of those interviewed.
The study was undertaken by Ali Zumrutbas (Pamukkale University) and co-workers, who surveyed 1571 randomly selected men and women aged 18 and over and living in the Denizli region of western Turkey.
Participants completed a questionnaire and underwent a physical examination, which included dipstick urinalysis. Those with a nitrate-positive dipstick test were excluded, leaving 1555 people for inclusion in the study, of whom 59.1% were female.
At least one LUTS – as defined by the International Continence Society – was reported by 71.0% of the study population, with the prevalence being slightly lower in men than in women (63.7 vs 73.5%).
Of the different subtypes of LUTS, the overall prevalences of storage, voiding and post-micturition symptoms were 56.1%, 39.3% and 30.7%, respectively. As expected, storage symptoms predominated in women whereas post-micturition symptoms predominated in men; voiding symptoms affected the two genders almost equally.
The most prevalent storage symptom was urgency, being reported by 29.3% of those questioned overall (one-fifth of men and one-third of women).
Urinary incontinence was reported by 38.7% of women and 9.9% of men. Stress and urge incontinence were the most common types of incontinence in men while stress incontinence was the most prevalent type in women. All types of urinary incontinence in women became more common with advancing age; men were at significantly greater risk for any type of urinary incontinence after age 60 years.
Finally, the frequency and severity of urinary incontinence were significantly associated with participants’ quality of life, assessed using the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire Short Form.
The researchers conclude: “The present study is the first and largest population-based survey evaluating the prevalence of LUTS, [urinary incontinence] and [overactive bladder] in Turkey. Our findings show these symptoms are highly prevalent in western Turkey.”
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