Lower urinary tract symptoms increase the risk of falls in older men

J. Kellogg Parsons, Jolee Mougey, Lori Lambert, Timothy J. Wilt, Howard A. Fink, Mark Garzotto, Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, Lynn M. Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE To evaluate the association of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) with the risk of falls in elderly community-dwelling men. SUBJECTS AND METHODS We evaluated 5872 participants in the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men, a prospective cohort study of risk factors for falls and osteoporotic fractures among community-dwelling men aged ≥65 years. The primary outcome was the 1-year cumulative incidence of falls in men with moderate or severe, vs mild LUTS at baseline, as measured by the American Urological Association Symptom Index. We used Poisson regression models and considered multiple variables as potential confounders. RESULTS At baseline, 3188 (54%) reported mild, 2301 (39%) moderate, and 383 (7%) severe LUTS. Compared with men who had mild symptoms, the adjusted 1-year cumulative incidence of falls was significantly higher among men with moderate or severe LUTS. The risk of at least one fall was increased by 11% among those with moderate (relative risk 1.11, 95% confidence interval, CI, 1.01-1.22; P = 0.02) and by 33% among those with severe LUTS (1.33, 1.15-1.53; P < 0.001). Further, those with moderate LUTS had a 21% (1.21, 1.05-1.40; P = 0.01) and those with severe LUTS a 63% (1.63, 1.31-2.02; P < 0.001) greater risk of at least two falls. LUTS most strongly associated with falls were urinary urgency, difficulty initiating urination, and nocturia. CONCLUSIONS Moderate and severe LUTS independently increase the 1-year risk of falls, particularly recurrent falls, in community-dwelling older men. Because of the serious consequences of falls, these results might justify the routine assessment of LUTS with a validated questionnaire in the primary care of this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-68
Number of pages6
JournalBJU international
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • AUA symptom score
  • BPH
  • Elderly
  • Falls
  • LUTS
  • Overactive bladder
  • Risk factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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