PURPOSE: To evaluate the relationship between urodynamic detrusor overactivity (DO) and overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms in men and women. METHODS: We reviewed the records of adult males and females who attended a tertiary referral center for urodynamic evaluation of OAB syndrome symptoms with the presence or absence of DO. DO was calculated for symptoms alone or in combination. RESULTS: The overall incidence of DO was 76.1% and 58.7% in male and female OAB patients, respectively. Of men 63% and 61% of women with urgency (OAB dry) had DO, while 93% of men and 69.8% of women with urgency and urgency urinary incontinence (OAB wet) had DO. Of women, 58% who were OAB wet had stress urinary incontinence symptoms with 26.4% having urodynamic stress incontinence. 6% of men and 6.5% of women with OAB symptoms had urodynamic diagnosis of voiding difficulties with postvoid residual greater than 100 mL. Combination of symptoms is more accurate in predicting DO in OAB patients. The multivariate disease model for males included urge urinary incontinence (UUI) and urgency while for females it included UUI and nocturia. CONCLUSIONS: There was a better correlation in results between OAB symptoms and the urodynamic diagnosis of DO in men than in women, more so in OAB wet than in OAB dry. Combination of symptoms of the OAB syndrome seems to have a better correlation with objective parameters from the bladder diary, filling cystometry, and with the occurrence of DO.