High frequency of overlap between functional dyspepsia and overactive bladder, "Beyond the Abstract," by Juntaro Matsuzaki, MD and Hidekazu Suzuki, MD, PhD

BERKELEY, CA (UroToday.com) - Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs), including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and functional dyspepsia (FD), are defined as chronic disorders of the digestive system in which symptoms cannot be explained by the presence of structural or tissue abnormality.

Both overactive bladder (OAB) and FGIDs are significant health issues since they are highly prevalent and have negative effects on quality of life. The association between IBS and bladder symptoms was documented as early as 1986, when Whorwell, et al. reported that IBS patients frequently experienced symptoms of irritable bladder, including frequency, urgency, hesitancy, nocturia and incomplete bladder emptying. However, studies on the potential association between OAB and FD are generally lacking.

In the setting of the tertiary care hospital, both urologists and gastroenterologists must recognize the impact of overlap between functional dyspepsia and overactive bladder.

To investigate the frequency of overlap between OAB and FD, we conducted a web-based cross-sectional study including participants from a list of 177 615 individuals (age range, 20–75 years) who had previously provided informed consent and enrolled for unspecified clinical research trials. The questionnaires collected sufficient data for us to use the OAB Symptom Score (OABSS) to evaluate OAB, and the Rome III criteria to evaluate FD and IBS.

A total of 5 330 participants (2 187 men and 3 143 women) were analysed in the present study. OAB, FD, and IBS were diagnosed in 497 (9.3%), 438 (8.2%), and 728 (13.7%) participants, respectively. Among participants with either FD or OAB, 10.7% had both FD and OAB. On the other hand, among participants with either IBS or OAB, 12.3% had both IBS and OAB. Overlap between FD and OAB was almost as often as overlap between FD and IBS (11.2%). Logistic regression analyses showed that OAB was associated with FD (odds ratio [OR]: 2.85; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.21–3.67) almost at the same level as it was associated with IBS (OR: 2.63; 95% CI: 2.12–3.27). Among participants with OAB, the severity of bladder symptoms was greater in participants with dyspeptic symptoms than without them.

Usually, different specialists (e.g., urologists and gastroenterologists) independently treat FD and OAB; this often occurs in the setting of a tertiary care hospital. Both specialists must recognize the impact of overlap between FD and OAB. To improve patients’ quality of life, potential dyspepsia symptoms should be considered when evaluating and treating patients with OAB. Furthermore, a subgroup of patients may show development of OAB and FD through the same pathophysiology, which may lead to the discovery of a novel mechanism in OAB and FD.


Written by:
Juntaro Matsuzaki, MD and Hidekazu Suzuki, MD, PhD as part of Beyond the Abstract on UroToday.com. This initiative offers a method of publishing for the professional urology community. Authors are given an opportunity to expand on the circumstances, limitations etc... of their research by referencing the published abstract.

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Department of Internal Medicine
Keio University School of Medicine
Tokyo, Japan


High frequency of overlap between functional dyspepsia and overactive bladder - Abstract

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