Systematic review and meta-analysis of candidate gene association studies of lower urinary tract symptoms in men

Rufus Cartwright*, Altaf Mangera, Kari A.O. Tikkinen, Prabhakar Rajan, Jori Pesonen, Anna C. Kirby, Ganesh Thiagamoorthy, Chris Ambrose, Juan Gonzalez-Maffe, Phillip R. Bennett, Tom Palmer, Andrew Walley, Marjo Riitta Järvelin, Vik Khullar, Chris Chapple

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Context Although family studies have shown that male lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are highly heritable, no systematic review exists of genetic polymorphisms tested for association with LUTS. Objective To systematically review and meta-analyze studies assessing candidate polymorphisms/genes tested for an association with LUTS, and to assess the strength, consistency, and potential for bias among pooled associations. Evidence acquisition A systematic search of the PubMed and HuGE databases as well as abstracts of major urologic meetings was performed through to January 2013. Case-control studies reporting genetic associations in men with LUTS were included. Reviewers independently and in duplicate screened titles, abstracts, and full texts to determine eligibility, abstracted data, and assessed the credibility of pooled associations according to the interim Venice criteria. Authors were contacted for clarifications if needed. Meta-analyses were performed for variants assessed in more than two studies. Evidence synthesis We identified 74 eligible studies containing data on 70 different genes. A total of 35 meta-analyses were performed with statistical significance in five (ACE, ELAC2, GSTM1, TERT, and VDR). The heterogeneity was high in three of these meta-analyses. The rs731236 variant of the vitamin D receptor had a protective effect for LUTS (odds ratio: 0.64; 95% confidence interval, 0.49-0.83) with moderate heterogeneity (I 2 = 27.2%). No evidence for publication bias was identified. Limitations include wide-ranging phenotype definitions for LUTS and limited power in most meta-analyses to detect smaller effect sizes. Conclusions Few putative genetic risk variants have been reliably replicated across populations. We found consistent evidence of a reduced risk of LUTS associated with the common rs731236 variant of the vitamin D receptor gene in our meta-analyses. Patient summary Combining the results from all previous studies of genetic variants that may cause urinary symptoms in men, we found significant variants in five genes. Only one, a variant of the vitamin D receptor, was consistently protective across different populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)752-768
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia
  • BPH
  • Genetics
  • Genomics
  • Incontinence, male
  • Lower urinary tract symptoms
  • LUTS
  • Overactive bladder


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