The term "lower urinary tract symptoms," or LUTS, is nonspecific. It has been used as a general term to refer to any combination of urinary symptoms or as a more specific term to refer to those symptoms primarily associated with overactive bladder (frequency, urgency, and nocturia). An international consensus conference identified LUTS to include symptoms relating to storage and/or voiding disturbances common among aging men . This is sometimes called male LUTS or MLUTS.
The prevalence of lower urinary tract symptoms in men increases with age. LUTS often has a significant negative impact on a patient's quality of life. A survey of over 5000 community-dwelling men age ≥65 in the US without history of prostate cancer found that 46 percent reported moderate to severe symptoms of LUTS . Another community-based study found that the prevalence of LUTS increases steadily with age into the 10th decade, affecting 70 percent of men older than 80 years .
Men with LUTS may report one or any combination of the following symptoms:
- Urinary frequency
- Urgency, with or without incontinence
- Hesitancy in initiating the stream
- Weak stream
- Sense of incomplete bladder emptying
- Post void or terminal dribbling
Although urinary frequency and urgency suggest an overactive bladder, none of these symptoms are specific or diagnostic for a specific etiology for LUTS.