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Global burden and temporal trends of lower urinary tract symptoms: a systematic review and meta-analysis



Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are common complaint in urology practice and affecting the quality of life for patients. This article aims to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis on the global prevalence of LUTS overall, and according to different patient characteristics.


We searched MEDLINE and Embase for population-based epidemiological studies reporting the prevalence of LUTS from inception to 1 Jan 2021. Studies which: (1) have enough information on sample size and prevalence; (2) investigate individuals aged 15 or above; and (3) have clear diagnostic criteria for LUTS. We extracted the following information: year of publication; name of the first author; study period; region of recruitment; race; age range; sex; severity; symptoms; and criteria. We pooled rate estimates with exact binomial and test score-based confidence intervals (CIs) using proportions with a random-effects model.


We included 222 studies from 36 countries involving 1,692,110 samples and 632,933 patients with LUTS. The overall prevalence of any and moderate-to-severe LUTS was 63.2% (95% CI = 58.0–68.1) and 31.3% (95% CI = 28.8–33.8), respectively. The most common symptom was storage symptoms (56.7%; 95% CI = 51.0–62.4), followed by voiding symptoms (36.4%; 95% CI = 27.8–45.4) and post-micturition symptoms (30.7%; 95% CI = 19.2–43.6). A higher prevalence of moderate-to-severe LUTS was observed in male subjects (35.2%; 95% CI = 32.1–38.5) and individuals aged ≥60 (39.0%; 95% CI = 33.4–44.8; I2 = 99.9%). Its prevalence increased from 27.4% (95% CI = 24.5–30.3) in 1990–1999, to 31.9% (95% CI = 27.3–36.7) in 2000–2009 and 36.2% (95% CI = 30.7–41.9) in 2010–2019.


This study was the first comprehensive meta-analysis examining the global prevalence of LUTS. We identified a high level of LUTS prevalence in the general population, with a higher burden in male subjects, older individuals, and the Asian population. There has been an increasing trend in the prevalence of LUTS since the 1990s.

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Fig. 1: PRISMA flow diagram for study.
Fig. 2: Prevalence of LUTS by severity, symptom, and criteria.
Fig. 3: Prevalence of moderate-to-severe LUTS by demographics.
Fig. 4: Prevalence of moderate-to-severe LUTS in individuals aged ≥40 years.
Fig. 5: Global prevalence of moderate-to-severe LUTS in males aged ≥40 years.

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Data availability

The data used for the analyses are available upon reasonable request from the corresponding authors.


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Authors and Affiliations



MCSW and CFN participated in conceiving the study and project administration. YD, YB, MST, and JH contributed to the data search and curation. JH conducted statistical analyses. JH and SCC drafted the manuscript. CFN, CKC, SY, XL, VL, LZ, WX, ZJZ, JYCT, and MCSW critically reviewed and revised the manuscript. JH is the correspondence during journal submission.

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Correspondence to Chi-Fai Ng or Martin C. S. Wong.

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Huang, J., Chan, CK., Yee, S. et al. Global burden and temporal trends of lower urinary tract symptoms: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis 26, 421–428 (2023).

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