Lower urinary tract symptoms among Caucasian-European men who have sex with men: findings from a real-life survey

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Prevalence of and severity of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) according to male sexual orientation have been scantly analysed. We aimed to assess the prevalence and severity of LUTS in a cohort of Caucasian-European men who have sex with men seeking medical help for uroandrologic reasons other than LUTS.

METHODS:

Data from 949 consecutive individuals in an outpatient setting were analysed. Severity of LUTS was measured with the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS). Men with storage symptoms scored 1–3 and ≥ 4 (of 15), and voiding symptoms scored 1–4 and ≥ 5 (of 20) were considered as having mild and moderate-to-severe symptoms, respectively. For individual symptoms, patients with scores ≥1 were deemed symptomatic (according to Apostolidis et al.15). Descriptive statistics and logistic regression models tested the association between LUTS and sexual orientation.

RESULTS:

Complete data were available for 213 (22.4%) men who have sex with men (MSM) and 736 (77.6%) heterosexuals (mean age (s.d.): 41.0 (12.2) vs 39.9 (12.1) years). Compared with heterosexuals, MSM reported higher rates of total IPSS scores suggestive of moderate (21.6% vs 20%) and severe LUTS (3.8% vs 2.4%) (P = 0.004). Similarly, MSM showed higher rates of mild (48.8% vs 45.2%) and moderate-to-severe (39.4% vs 30.4%) storage symptoms (all P<0.001), and of mild (45.1% vs 34.8%) and moderate-to-severe (20.2% vs 19.2%) voiding symptoms (all P<0.01). MSM status was an independent predictor of mild voiding symptoms (odds ratio (OR): 1.40; P = 0.004), moderate-to-severe storage symptoms (OR: 1.40; P = 0.04) and severe total IPSS (OR: 1.49; P = 0.03), after adjusting for other variables.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings suggest a higher prevalence and severity of LUTS in MSM compared with heterosexual men seeking medical help for uroandrologic reasons other than LUTS.

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