A questionnaire on obstructive and irritative voiding symptoms was sent to 572 men aged between 20 and 79 years, selected at random from the National Register; 337 questionnaires were completed. None of the responders had consulted a doctor because of voiding symptoms. There was a significant increase in voiding symptoms and in the obstructive, irritative and total symptom scores between the sixth and seventh [corrected] decades, whereas the increases in the other decades were small. Only the prevalence of terminal dribbling was uniform. The prevalence of single obstructive and irritative voiding symptoms in men aged 60 to 79 years without subjective prostatism was the same as in patients admitted with prostatism, although most of the men had milder symptoms. Only nocturia and urge incontinence were more prevalent in patients admitted with prostatism. About 20% of men in the oldest decades had symptoms equal in severity to those found in men undergoing prostatectomy; 29% and 11% of men in the eighth decade [corrected] had nocturia twice and 3 times or more respectively; 19% complained of urge incontinence. More information on possible treatment is needed.