A cross-sectional study in the USA of the epidemiology and quality of life of underactive bladder symptoms

To assess the prevalence, awareness, and quality of life (QOL) impact of symptoms suggestive of underactive bladder (UAB) in the USA.

A thirteen-item paper survey was mailed to 25,000 individuals 60 years or older living in the USA. It aimed to collect information relating to demographics, familiarity with UAB, patient urinary symptoms, and QOL concerns.

Nine hundred and seventy-seven survey participants were stratified into four groups based on the number of UAB symptoms (straining, retention, and difficulty emptying) present: zero, one, two, and three. As the number of reported UAB symptoms increased, there was an increase prevalence in nocturia, urge, and urinary frequency (p < 0.0001). Increased UAB symptoms were associated with an increased prevalence of concerns related to urgency, urge incontinence, nocturia, and overall urinary status (p < 0.0001). Urology visits were most common in individuals who reported the most UAB symptoms (p < 0.0001); however, there was no difference among groups with regard to UAB awareness. Women were less likely to report any UAB symptoms (p < 0.0001), symptoms of urge (p = 0.001), retention (p = 0.002), difficulty emptying their bladder (p < 0.0001), a history of catheter use for retention (P = 0.002), and urology visits in the past 3 years (p < 0.0001). This study is limited in its inability to differentiate UAB from disorders that may mimic UAB clinically, based on the survey questions asked.

Underactive bladder symptoms are common and can have a significant impact on ones QOL, although awareness is still lacking among potentially affected individuals. More must be done to allow one to better differentiate between UAB and conditions that are clinically similar.

International urology and nephrology. 2016 Jul 29 [Epub ahead of print]

Kassem Faraj, Florence Doo, Judy Boura, Andrew Vereecke, Michael B Chancellor

Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, Rochester, MI, USA., Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, Rochester, MI, USA., Beaumont Health System, Royal Oak, MI, USA., Beaumont Health System, Royal Oak, MI, USA., Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, Rochester, MI, USA. .

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