Concomitant longitudinal changes in frequency of and bother from lower urinary tract symptoms in community dwelling men

Aruna V. Sarma, Steven J. Jacobsen, Cynthia J. Girman, Debra J. Jacobson, Rosebud O. Roberts, Thomas Rhodes, Michael M. Lieber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Purpose: Care for men with benign prostatic hyperplasia consumes a sizable amount of health care resources, which is largely driven by bother from lower urinary tract symptoms. While cross-sectional studies have demonstrated a strong correlation between frequency of symptoms and associated bother, there are few longitudinal data demonstrating how these track together. Materials and Methods: In 1989, 2,115 white men between 40 and 79 years old were recruited from a random sample of the Olmsted County population. These men completed a self-administered questionnaire that assessed lower urinary tract symptom severity and associated bother with questions similar to those in the American Urological Association Symptom Index. Questionnaires were completed biennially thereafter through 1996. Results: Annualized changes in symptom score increased from a median of 0.02 per year (25th, 75th percentile -0.35, 0.60) for men in their forties to 0.43 (-0.12, 1.16) for men in their sixties. The median change in bother scores was 0 (-0.30, 0.29) across all ages. The correlation between longitudinal symptom score slopes and bother score slopes was 0.55 (p <0.001) overall and did not differ substantively across age. Conclusions: These results demonstrate that there is a great deal of variability between individuals in the amount of longitudinal change in lower urinary tract symptom severity and bother. While for bother, there is little change across individuals on average, within individual frequency and bother track together fairly closely. However, there remain some men with increases in frequency who do not report similar increases in bother, possibly representing some component of adaptation or acceptance of worsening symptom severity with age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1446-1452
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number4 I
StatePublished - Oct 2002


  • Longitudinal studies
  • Prostatic hyperplasia
  • Signs and symptoms
  • Urinary tract

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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