Medical visits among adults with symptoms commonly associated with an overactive bladder

Sunny H Kim, Mark Boye, Samir K. Bhattacharyya, Karin Coyne, Ravinder Dhawan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To examine nationally representative data and thus obtain estimates of the use of healthcare providers associated with the overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms, a condition characterized by frequency, urgency and nocturia, with or with no urge incontinence, as although it is ranked among the 10 most common chronic medical conditions in the USA, the level of OAB-associated medical treatment remains largely unknown. METHODS: To estimate the number of annual OAB-associated medical visits among patients aged ≥18 years, three national databases in the USA (year 2000) were examined: the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, and the National Hospital Discharge Survey. Population estimates were constructed using design-based statistical analyses to account for the complex survey designs of data. RESULTS: During 2000, adult Americans made 1.4 million (95% confidence interval 1.1-1.8 million) ambulatory visits to non-Federal office-based physicians with International Classification of Disease (ICD-9) coding indicative of OAB symptoms. Accounting for emergency and outpatient department visits, as well as non-Federal short-stay hospital discharges, the estimated number of medical visits with OAB-associated ICD-9 coding was <1.5 million. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of OAB was estimated to be 34 million adult Americans. When 1.4 million ambulatory visits were compared with this prevalence, as few as 4% of adult Americans with OAB sought medical treatment during the year 2000. The present results therefore suggest a large unmet medical need among the population of adult Americans with OAB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-554
Number of pages4
JournalBJU International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Bladder disease
  • Mixed incontinence
  • National surveys
  • Urge incontinence
  • Urinary frequency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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