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Study Type – Therapy (outcomes research)Level of Evidence 2cWhat's known on the subject? and What does the study add?It is known that benign prostatic hyperplasia is a common condition affecting most men by the age of 80 years. There are multiple treatment options available, including both medical and surgical interventions. However, what is not known is how affective the different types of interventions are in the general population. Previous studies have focused on centre-specific data.What is unique about our study is that it is a prospective cross-section analysis of a community cohort of men. Through this study we were able to assess the outcomes in the general population as opposed to in a high-volume surgical centre. Our findings show that in this community medical management was poor at symptomatic improvement, whereas surgical intervention produced the best improvement.To describe the use and symptomatic outcomes of different therapies for lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in a community-based population of men followed for 17 years.Data from a randomly selected cohort of 2184 men, aged 40–79 years in 1990, from Olmsted County, Minnesota, USA were included in the study. Participants completed a questionnaire similar to the American Urological Association Symptom Index (AUASI) and reported on incontinence.Men were followed biennially through 2007 (median follow-up: 13.7 years; Q1, Q3: 8.8, 15.7). Medical and surgical treatments for LUTS were reported on biennial questionnaires and abstracted from community medical records.Overall, 610 (28%) men received medical or surgical therapy for treatment of LUTS. Patients undergoing vaporization and transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) had the highest pre-intervention AUASI scores (P < 0.001) and the most rapid increase in scores over time (P= 0.002) compared with those treated with medications or no therapy. After intervention, symptom progression slowed in all treatment groups.However, the greatest improvement in AUASI score (median % change) was observed in the TURP group: −27.45%. The TURP group also reported a significant decrease in incontinence after surgery (% change): TURP: −22.58%.All therapies were effective at slowing the progression of LUTS, but only TURP patients reported a significant decrease in both LUTS and incontinence after therapy.