Healthcare-seeking with bothersome lower urinary tract symptoms among men in the Danish population: the impact of lifestyle and socioeconomic status

Ann Rubach, Kirubakaran Balasubramaniam, Maria Munch Storsveen, Sandra Elnegaard, Dorte Ejg Jarbøl*

*Corresponding author for this work

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OBJECTIVE: (1) To identify possible factors of importance for reporting lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) among men and (2) to examine possible associations between socioeconomic status (SES), lifestyle factors, and likelihood of men contacting a general pracitioner (GP) regarding LUTS reported to be of concern or influencing daily activities (bothersome LUTS).

DESIGN: Nationwide population-based, cross-sectional survey. Data was collected in 2012.

SETTING: The general Danish population.

SUBJECTS: A total of 48,910 randomly selected men aged 20+.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: (1) Odds ratios for reporting LUTS by lifestyle and SES, and (2) Odds ratios for GP contact with bothersome LUTS by lifestyle and SES.

RESULTS: 23,240 men participated (49.8%). Nocturia was the most commonly experienced LUTS (49.8%). Incontinence was most often reported as bothersome (64.1%) and nocturia less often reported as bothersome (34.2%). Only about one third of the men reporting a bothersome LUTS contacted their GP. Odds for reporting LUTS significantly increased with increasing age, obesity, and lack of labor market affiliation. Increasing age and symptom burden significantly increased the odds for GP contact regarding bothersome LUTS. No overall associations were found between lifestyle, SES, and GP contact.

CONCLUSION: Bothersome LUTS are common among Danish men. Concern and influence of LUTS on daily activities are important determinants of GP contact, yet only one in three bothersome LUTS are discussed with a GP. Advanced age and symptom burden were significantly associated with GP contact.

IMPLICATIONS: Information on treatment options for LUTS might be desirable among Danish men regardless of SES and lifestyle. Key points Urological symptoms are common among men in the Danish population and are often managed without contacting healthcare professionals. Increasing age and symptom burden significantly increase the likelihood of consulting a general practitioner regarding bothersome urological symptoms Healthcare-seeking behavior with bothersome urological symptoms is not influenced by lifestyle or socioeconomic status among Danish men; Information about available, effective treatment options for urological symptoms might be desirable among men regardless of socioeconomic status and lifestyle.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)155-164
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • General practice
  • Health behavior
  • Lifestyle
  • Lower urinary tract symptoms
  • Men
  • Socioeconomic status


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