Prevalence of lower urinary tract symptoms and prostate enlargement in the primary care setting
Purpose: Men with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) from benign prostatic hyperplasia often do not discuss their symptoms with their primary care physicians (PCPs). The primary objectives of this study were to estimate the prevalence of LUTS, prostate enlargement, and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) ? 1.5 ng/ml in men visiting their PCP and to assess patients' intent to discuss LUTS with their PCP.
Methods: Men over age 50 presenting for a routine office visit at one of six PCP offices during the 8-week data collection period were invited to participate in this cross-sectional study. Men with prostate cancer, bladder cancer, indwelling urethral catheter or previous pelvic irradiation were excluded. Four hundred and forty-four men were enrolled and completed a self-administered questionnaire [including the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS)], provided a blood sample for PSA, and underwent a digital rectal examination (DRE), with the prostate classified as enlarged or non-enlarged by their PCP.
Results: Forty-two per cent of men had IPSS > 7; 48% had an enlarged prostate based on DRE and 43% had PSA ? 1.5 ng/ml. Twenty-nine per cent (n = 129) of men had IPSS > 7 and enlarged prostate or PSA ? 1.5 ng/ml. Of these men, 33% (n = 42) intended to discuss their symptoms with their PCP.
Conclusions: Although a significant percentage of men in this older population had enlarged prostate and LUTS, only one-third of them intended to discuss their symptoms with their physician. PCPs may need to increase efforts to detect LUTS and enlarged prostate in older men.