Study Reveals Link Between Severity of Urinary Tract Symptoms and Mortality in Finnish Men Over 50

Even if they are supposedly not dangerous, urinary tract symptoms such as incontinence or frequent urination are associated with an increased risk of death in men over 50, according to a Finnish study.



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Men who had frequent urination during the day, nocturia (the need to urinate at night), or various forms of incontinence had a 40 percent higher risk of death. However, mild urinary disorders were not associated with an increased risk of mortality.

“The consideration of urinary disorders in men as risk factors for mortality is still unclear,” say researchers at the University of Tampere in Finland. Therefore, they decided to conduct a study to determine whether urinary tract symptoms are associated with mortality risk in men by assessing the relationship between the severity of clinical signs and discomfort and mortality.

For the work, published April 26 in The Journal of Urology, the scientists examined data from a cohort of 3,143 Finnish men aged 50, 60, and 70 when they enrolled in the study in 1994. The authors also used a new analysis that included information on 1,167 men who were followed through the end of 2018. They looked at urinary tract symptoms such as incontinence, urinary leakage, and frequent urination in the participants.

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Moderate and severe urinary tract symptoms are good indicators of poor health.

According to the results, about half (50.6%) of the volunteers died during the 24-year follow-up period. In the analyses of moderate and severe symptoms, regardless of discomfort, all urinary tract symptoms were associated with increased mortality.

Analysis of mild urinary tract symptoms showed no increased risk of mortality. “For clinicians, the study shows that moderate and severe urinary tract symptoms in men are generally good indicators of poor health, whereas mild urinary tract symptoms can be considered a normal part of healthy aging,” the researchers said in a statement.

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According to the scientists in the study, this link between urinary dysfunction and mortality in men over 50 suggests that urinary stress has an important influence on the health and functional status of elderly men, perhaps reflecting the long-term effects of neurological and vascular diseases.


Åkerla, J., Pesonen, J. S., Pöyhönen, A., Koskimäki, J., Häkkinen, J., Huhtala, H., Auvinen, A., & Tammela, T. L. J. (2023). Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms and Mortality among Finnish Men: The Roles of Symptom Severity and Bother. Journal of Urology. Retrieved from

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