To determine the prevalence of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in Finnish men, using a population-based cross-sectional survey.
In 1994, a modified Danish prostatic symptom score system (DAN-PSS-1) questionnaire on the occurrence and severity of LUTS was mailed to all men (3143) born in 1924, 1934 or 1944 living in the city of Tampere or 11 rural and semi-rural municipalities in the same county.
After exclusions, 68% of the men were ultimately included in the study. LUTS were common and increased with age so that the prevalence of at least one symptom was 89% in the whole population (84%) among 50-year-old, 91% among 60-year-old and 94% among 70-year-old men). Most of the symptoms were mild, with post-micturition dribbling and nocturia the most prevalent symptoms, and stress incontinence the least prevalent.
The high incidence of LUTS may indicate a high prevalence of benign prostatic enlargement secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia, but other causes are also involved. With the increase in the mean age of the general population, the number of individuals with LUTS is likely to increase and must be considered when resources are planned for medical care.