Racial disparities in bladder management in veterans with spinal cord injury and disorders.

Neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction is common in individuals with spinal cord injury and disorders (SCI/D). The purpose of this study was to identify specific demographic, neurologic, and urologic factors associated with different bladder management methods (BMMs) in individuals with SCI/D.

A retrospective review of BMMs at a large Veterans Affairs SCI/D center was performed to identify associated risk factors including demographics, neurologic factors, and urologic factors. Bivariate analysis was performed to identify factors associated with specific BMMs. Then, a propensity-matched racial group analysis was performed to identify independent factors associated with differences in BMM.

Data from 833 patients with SCI/D were reviewed and included 52.1% Caucasians and 39.6% African Americans. On bivariate analysis, current age, years since the injury, the severity of functional impairment, nonmedical mechanism of injury, and Caucasian race were associated with increased rates of indwelling catheter use. In an analysis of propensity-matched racial groups, African-American race was found to be an independent risk factor for not using indwelling catheters on multivariate analysis (odds ratio = 0.55). This finding was not related to access to care, as the rate of urodynamic testing was similar between races ( P = 0.174).

Caucasians were more likely to use indwelling catheters and less likely to use conservative BMMs despite proper urodynamic evaluation. The racial discrepancy suggests a need for future research aimed at identifying unknown psychosocial factors associated with the use of indwelling catheters in individuals with SCI/D.

Neurourology and urodynamics. 2019 Feb 22 [Epub]

Jacqueline P Morin, Ashley B King, Lance L Goetz, Luke G Wolfe, Adam P Klausner

Division of Urology/Department of Surgery, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, Virginia., Spinal Cord Injury & Disorders Service, Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Richmond, Virginia.

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