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Urinary tract symptoms underdiagnosed in men

By Lilian Anekwe

Men with lower urinary tract symptoms are not receiving appropriate care from GPs, a new study claims.

Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are common among men, with estimates suggesting that 5% of men in UK general practice showing symptoms of either overactive bladder or LUTS.

A retrospective study of a general practice database containing medical records for more than one million men in the UK found that ‘treatment rates were low and did not change during the study period.'

The analysis of seven years of patient records showed only a quarter of patients diagnosed with overactive bladder were prescribed an antimuscarinic in the 12 months to January 1 2006. Only 6-7% of men with LUTS were prescribed an antimuscarinic. 75% of men diagnosed with overactice bladder and 61% of men with LUTS received no active treatment at all.

Professor Christopher Chapple, a consultant urologist at the Royal Hallamshire hospital in Sheffield, said: ‘Despite the availability of effective prescription therapies, overactive bladder and/or LUTS in men is largely untreated in UK general practice.

‘There is an increased awareness among both GPs and the general public that it is possible to treat these conditions and thus reduce their negative impact on people's lives.'

The study is published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice.

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