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Half of adults to suffer urinary tract symptoms by 2018

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Urinary tract symptoms will be experienced by nearly 50% of adults worldwide over the age of 20 by 2018.

Research in October’s urology journal, BJUI, found that the number of adults suffering from urinary tract symptoms will increase by 18% worldwide in just ten years - to affect an estimated 2.3 billion people.

It is predicted that incontinence issues, which are more common in older generations, will increase especially in South America, Asia and developing parts of Africa.

The data was used to project European figures of urinary tract symptoms. It is thought there will be a 2.5% rise in cases of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) on the continent, a 4% rise in cases of overactive bladders (OAB), a 5% increase in urinary incontinence (UI) and a 3% rise in LUTS suggestive of bladder outlet obstruction (LUTS/BOO).

By 2018, the global ratio of LUTS is expected to increase to just below 46%, and will affect 45% of men and 47% of women.

Researchers extrapolated the research figures to find 2013 and 2018 estimates for LUTS, overactive bladder, urinary incontinence and LUTS suggestive of bladder outlet obstruction, using the current symptom definitions from the International Continence Society.

Dr Debra E Irwin, lead author of the research, from the Department of Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina, said: “International and national programmes that increase public awareness, educate clinicians and implement public health campaigns that tackle the social stigma of LUTS, will be a significant step.”

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