Prevalence of urinary incontinence and other lower urinary tract symptoms in children in the Netherlands.

The International Children's Continence Society (ICCS) defines urinary incontinence (UI) as 'involuntary leakage of urine' [1], a condition that can have a negative impact on a child's life. Although UI is common among children, the reported prevalences worldwide vary. Regarding children in the Netherlands, only a few studies report on the prevalence of UI and other lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTSs).

The aim was to investigate the prevalence of episodes of UI and other LUTSs along with associated 'risk factors' in children in the Netherlands.

In a cross-sectional study, 240 children (8- to 17-year-olds) were included, who completed the Groningen Pediatric Defecation and Fecal Continence Questionnaire. UI was defined in accordance with the ICCS's definition of involuntary leakage of urine. To define a timeframe of episodes of UI, the situation during the past 6 months was specifically asked. The other LUTSs included were intermittency, straining, urinary tract infections, nocturia, and frequency.

The prevalence of episodes of UI in the total group was 21.7%. Girls experienced UI significantly more often than boys (30.1% versus 14.2%, P = 0.003). Prevalence did not differ between the 8- to 12-year-olds and the 13- to 17-year-olds. The most prevalent form of UI was stress UI (8.8%). After excluding six children with a medical history that could influence bladder function, UI in 20.9% of the remaining 'healthy' children was found. Intermittency was experienced by 18.3% of the children, and 15% strained during micturition. Univariate analysis showed that the presence of straining, intermittency, nocturia, or fecal incontinence was significantly associated with UI.

Of the children studied, episodes of UI occurred in 21.7%, and the condition did not decrease with age. It was found that UI is not limited to 'sick' children because it occurred in 20.9% of the 'healthy' subgroup. Although children with urge UI in daily practice were mainly seen, in this study, it was found that on average, stress UI was the most common form of UI among Dutch children. The prevalence of other LUTSs was also high, with intermittency and straining as the most frequent symptoms (18.3% and 15.0%, respectively). Intermittency and straining are significantly associated with UI, as are nightly nocturia and fecal incontinence.

Episodes of UI and other LUTSs are common conditions among children in the Netherlands, even in the 'healthy' group. It is important that medical practitioners are aware of these phenomena, and they should be alert to the associated symptoms as they may be considered as 'risk factors'.

Journal of pediatric urology. 2018 Nov 08 [Epub ahead of print]

J M Linde, R J M Nijman, M Trzpis, P M A Broens

Department of Urology, Division of Pediatric Urology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands; Department of Surgery, Anorectal Physiology Laboratory, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands. Electronic address: ., Department of Urology, Division of Pediatric Urology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands. Electronic address: ., Department of Surgery, Anorectal Physiology Laboratory, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands. Electronic address: ., Department of Surgery, Anorectal Physiology Laboratory, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands; Department of Surgery, Division of Pediatric Surgery, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands. Electronic address: .

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