Objectives: To describe the prevalence, severity, and health correlates of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in older community-dwelling U.S. men. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional analysis from a cohort study recruited from six U.S. clinical centers. This analysis included 5284 men without a history of prostate cancer who were at least 65 years of age. Participants completed questionnaires regarding the presence and severity of LUTS, including the American Urological Association Symptom and Bother indexes. Health status measures included the Medical Outcomes Survey SF-12 and self-rated health and instrumental activities of daily living. Results: LUTS were absent in 2.3%, mild in 51.6%, moderate in 39.6%, and severe in 6.6%. Dissatisfaction with the urinary symptoms increased with LUTS severity (P <0.001); 19.8% of moderate and 58.1% of men with severe LUTS reported feeling mostly unsatisfied to terrible with their present urinary symptoms. The prevalence, severity, and dissatisfaction with LUTS increased with age. Men reporting moderate or severe LUTS were 1.41-fold (95% confidence interval 1.23 to 1.61) and 1.51-fold (95% confidence interval 1.23 to 1.85) more likely to rate their overall health quality as fair to very poor for their age instead of good to excellent, even after controlling for age and comorbid conditions. Increased LUTS also was independently associated with increased impairment in instrumental activities of daily living and poorer SF-12 scores. Conclusions: Moderate-to-severe LUTS is common in community-dwelling elderly U.S. men. In this study, LUTS severity was associated with poorer health quality and a greater prevalence of an inability to perform activities of daily living. The association of LUTS severity with poor health warrants increased clinical attention.
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