African American men; Health surveys; Lower urinary tract symptoms; Older African Americans; Symptoms; Urinary organs – Diseases


Community-Based Research | Demography, Population, and Ecology | Gender and Sexuality | Medicine and Health | Public Health | Race and Ethnicity | Urology


Lack of population-based data on lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) among African American men represents a significant gap in understanding. This study examined LUTS among a racially over-sampled, mixed urban/rural, elderly cohort of African Americans and whites in the South to discern whether racial differences exist in the prevalence, severity, and associated risk factors of LUTS. Longitudinal analyses using generalized estimating equations (GEE) were conducted on the 1994–1998 EPESE dataset for 5 North Carolina counties. In 1994, the analytic cohort included 482 African Americans and 407 whites; by 1998, 249 and 222, respectively. In 1994, 49.4% of African Americans reported LUTS compared to 56.8% of whites. By 1998, percentages increased to 60.6% and 70.3%, respectively. LUTS was associated with being African American, married, having poor health status and disability, delaying care quite often, being in a nursing home or in a rural area, and having a male physician.