Interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome: the influence of modern diagnostic criteria on epidemiology and on Internet search activity by the public

Interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome (IC/PBS) is a chronic debilitating condition that is characterised by suprapubic pain and urinary symptoms such as urgency, nocturia and urinary frequency.

The prevalence of the condition is increasing due to more inclusive diagnostic criteria. Herein, we review the evolving epidemiology of IC/PBS and investigate health seeking behaviour for the condition through Internet search activity. Study selection was performed in accordance with PRISMA. In addition, global search trends for the terms 'Interstitial Cystitis' and 'Painful Bladder Syndrome' from 2005 to 2015 were also evaluated using the 'Google Trends' search application. The mean search activity per month was recorded and mean activity at annual intervals calculated. Regional search activity by country and city was also measured. Prevalence rates for IC/PBS vary according to diagnostic criteria and range from 2% to 17. 3% among the general population. Increased prevalence is associated with female gender and females with one first-degree relative affected. There has been an increase in global mean search activity for IC/PBS on an annual basis since 2005. The greatest increase in search activity was in USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland and India respectively. The top five cities for search activity for IC/PBS were in the USA. As diagnostic criteria for IC/PBS continues to become more inclusive it is likely that the prevalence will continue to increase. This is particularly true for the USA and Canada as these regions have demonstrated the greatest increase in Internet search activity for IC/ PBS.

Translational andrology and urology. 2015 Oct [Epub]

Niall F Davis, Sanjith Gnanappiragasam, John A Thornhill

Department of Urology, Tallaght Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. , Department of Urology, Tallaght Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. , Department of Urology, Tallaght Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.

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