Objectives: The aims of this investigation were to compare prevalence and severity of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in both sexes and to analyze their effect on everyday life (‘botherness’) in a cross–sectional study design. Methods: Individuals participating in a health survey in Vienna completed a German version of the Bristol LUTS questionnaire. In this questionnaire, storage (irritative) and voiding (obstructive) symptoms were assessed by six items, each followed by a quality of life (‘botherness’) question. Results: A consecutive series of 1,191 women (49.8±13.5 years) and 1,211 men (48.5±11.9 years) were analyzed. The mean increase in LUTS from the youngest (20–39 years) to the oldest (>70 years) age group was 43.7% (7.3%/decade) for men and 23.6% (3.9%/decade) for women. In all decades, storage symptoms were higher for women. Beyound the age of 60 years this discrepancy declined. Voiding symptoms were almost identical in both sexes until the 5th decade, thereafter they increased significantly in men but not in women. ‘Urgency’ and ‘frequency’ were more bothersome to older individuals, ‘nocturia’ and voiding symptoms were almost equally bothersome to younger and older participants. Conclusions: These data provide insights into the development of storage and voiding problems with age in both sexes. Sex– and age–stratified analyses of quality of life impairments (‘botherness’) due to LUTS have demonstrated the importance of age for the impact of LUTS on the bother score.

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