Undertreatment of overactive bladder among men with lower urinary tract symptoms in the United States: A retrospective observational study

Arthur L. Burnett, David R. Walker, Qi Feng, Karissa M. Johnston, Greta Lozano-Ortega, David Nimke, John C. Hairston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: To characterize the epidemiology and treatment patterns of adult men (≥40 years) diagnosed with, or treated for, overactive bladder (OAB) and/or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Methods: This retrospective observational study used data extracted from the IBM MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters database and the Medicare Supplemental Coordination of Benefits database. Men with BPH and/or OAB were identified and observed to assess treatment and diagnostic patterns. Results: Within the entire study sample (N = 462 400), BPH diagnosis (61.5%) and BPH treatment (73.7%) were more common than the corresponding values for OAB (25.8% and 7.0%, respectively). Notably, among diagnosed individuals, the dispensation of a corresponding treatment was more likely in individuals diagnosed with BPH (183 672 out of 284 416 = 64.6%) compared with OAB (16 468 out of 119 236 = 13.8%). Among newly diagnosed and/or treated patients (n = 196 576), only 60.3% received treatment. Among treated patients, most experienced only a single type of treatment (93.4%), 6.6% went on to receive a secondary treatment and 3.5% a tertiary. The most common primary treatment was alpha-blocker monotherapy (76.9%) followed by tadalafil monotherapy (16.4%). Among those untreated at first diagnosis, the median time between diagnosis and treatment initiation was 128 days. Conclusions: Diagnosis and management of OAB among males are challenging given the inherent overlap in symptoms observed with BPH. Unsurprisingly, we found that BPH is diagnosed and treated more frequently than OAB; but the differences between diagnosis and treatment patterns for the two conditions highlight the potential undertreatment of OAB and misdirection of therapy for men with a combination of voiding and storage symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1378-1386
Number of pages9
JournalNeurourology and Urodynamics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • benign prostatic hyperplasia
  • epidemiology
  • lower urinary tract symptoms
  • overactive bladder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Urology


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