Differences in prostate disease symptoms and visits to the general practitioner among three ethnic groups in New Zealand

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To define lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and their relationship to general practitioner (GP) visits and ethnicity among men in the New Zealand (NZ) population-based Wellington Region Community Prostate Study.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS

In 2001–2002 NZ European, Maori and Pacific Island participants were selected from the Wellington region of NZ. Demographic questions, the International Prostate Symptom Score and yearly GP attendance questions were completed by 862 subjects with no history of prostate cancer.

RESULTS

There were no significant differences in LUTS among the ethnic groups (P = 0.80) but symptom scores were positively correlated with age only for NZ Europeans (P < 0.001, r = 0.179). Overall, NZ populations have a lower prevalence of LUTS than is evident for ethnic groups in other countries. Pacific Islanders attended the GP more often than both NZ Europeans and Maori.

CONCLUSION

Ethnic differences in age-related urinary symptoms and visits to the GP are important for informing culturally appropriate clinical practice and prostate health promotion with minority groups.

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