Objective To investigate the natural history of urologic symptom progression and remission by means of cluster analysis in a large, well-characterized cohort of men and women. Methods Cluster analysis was used to assign men and women to symptom clusters on the basis of the prevalence of 14 self-reported urologic symptoms. Data were analyzed from the Boston Area Community Health study at baseline (T1) and 5-year follow-up (T2). Cluster progression was defined as any change from a less symptomatic to a more symptomatic cluster; conversely, cluster remission was defined as movement from more symptomatic to less symptomatic clusters. Logistic regression models examined the association of sociodemographic, psychosocial, and health outcome measures with cluster progression and remission. Results Follow-up data were available from 4145 participants (1610 men; 2535 women). More than two thirds of men (69.2%) and women (68.2%) had stable symptom cluster assignments. Cluster progression occurred in 280 of 1610 (15.2%) men and 390 of 2535 (14.6%) women; cluster remission in 280 of 1610 (15.6%) men and 409 of 2535 (17.4%) women. In multivariate analyses, cluster progression was twice as common in men with incident depression (odds ratio = 2.43, 95% confidence interval 1.26-4.67) and 3 times more likely in men with ≥3 comorbidities at baseline. Urologic surgeries were uncommon in men and women and were not consistently related to cluster progression or remission. Conclusion Urologic symptom clusters were relatively stable over a 5-year follow-up period for more than two thirds of men and women in our sample. Specific risk factors for progression were identified in men and women.
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