Send to

Choose Destination
J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2009 Sep;18(9):1361-8. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2008.1270.

Severity of interstitial cystitis symptoms and quality of life in female patients.

Author information

Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, USA.



Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a visceral pain syndrome with a profound impact on quality of life (QOL). The main aims of the current study are as follows: (1) to determine possible factors that may increase the severity of symptoms and decrease QOL in women diagnosed with IC; (2) to study how symptom severity affects QOL adjusting for these factors; and (3) to investigate which symptom is most likely to impair IC patients' physical and mental QOL.


Forty-one women (age, 20-71 years) with moderate/severe IC enrolled in a clinical trial of intravesical pentosan polysulfate sodium in California (USA) were included in this cross-sectional analysis. Demographic and clinical characteristics were evaluated at baseline using the O'Leary-Sant Interstitial Cystitis Symptom Index (ICSI), pain assessment, urgency scale, voiding log for 24 h, and the Short Form-36 (SF-36).


Being currently unmarried was associated with more severe symptoms. Being unemployed, currently unmarried, obese, never pregnant, and ever use of oral contraceptive were associated with a decrement in at least one QOL domain. Symptom severity was an independent predictor of worse QOL on three domains: bodily pain, general health, and mental health. Pain and nocturia were the only symptoms found to be associated with decline in overall physical quality of life. None of the symptoms had significant impact on the mental component summary of QOL.


Symptom severity and being currently unmarried were found to be associated with impairment in QOL in IC patients. Managing pain and nocturia may improve the patients' overall physical QOL.

Comment in

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center