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Pediatrics. 1986 Apr;77(4):482-7.

Childhood enuresis: prevalence, perceived impact, and prescribed treatments.


Childhood enuresis can indicate an underlying problem as benign as developmental immaturity or as serious as urinary tract obstruction. As part of a large population-based study, parents of 1,753 children aged 5 to 13 years were asked about the presence and frequency of enuresis, perceived impact, and physician-prescribed treatments. Enuresis at least once during a 3-month period was reported for 14% of this general population of children. Boys were significantly more likely to experience enuresis than girls (16% v 12%; P less than .01). The prevalence of enuresis at least once a week was similar among boys and girls (7% v 6%). Parents reported that more than half of the children are distressed by their enuresis, and two thirds of parents expressed concern. Thirty-eight percent of bed wetters have seen a physician about their condition. More than one third of these children have been treated with a drug. The most commonly recommended regimen in the literature, the bed alarm, was prescribed to only 3% of bed-wetting children who saw a physician.

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