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BJU Int. 2011 Nov;108(9):1459-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2010.10013.x. Epub 2011 Mar 3.

The impact of overactive bladder on mental health, work productivity and health-related quality of life in the UK and Sweden: results from EpiLUTS.

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United BioSource Corporation, Bethesda, MD, USA.



• To examine the prevalence and burden of overactive bladder (OAB) with bother in the UK and Sweden compared to OAB without bother and no/minimal OAB/lower urinary tract (LUTS) symptoms, respectively.


• A cross-sectional population-representative survey was conducted via the Internet in the UK, Sweden and USA. • Participants rated the frequency and bother of OAB and LUTS. Patient outcomes included the Overactive Bladder Questionnaire Short Form, Patient Perception of Bladder Condition, Short Form-12, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-Anxiety and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-Depression, as well as questions about treatment seeking and work productivity. • OAB was defined as urgency at least sometimes or the presence of urinary urgency incontinence. Three subgroups were compared: no/minimal symptoms, OAB without bother and OAB with bother. • Analyses were conducted by gender and country using general linear and logistic regression models to examine bothersome OAB and treatment seeking.


• Survey response was 59.2%; 10,000 people (4724 men and 5276 women) participated. • The prevalence of OAB with bother at least 'somewhat' was 10.9% and 14.6% for men in the UK and Sweden, and 22.5% and 33.7% for women in the UK and Sweden, respectively. • Men and women with bothersome OAB were significantly more likely to seek treatment, report the lowest levels of health-related quality of life and work productivity and the highest levels of anxiety and depression compared to those with no/minimal symptoms and OAB without bother. • Greater symptom severity of urgency, urgency urinary incontinence, frequency, nocturia, and increasing levels of anxiety were strongly predictive of OAB bother in both men and women. • Predictors of treatment seeking included frequency, bother as a result of urgency, and lower levels of depressive symptoms in men, and frequency, nocturia and urgency in women.


• OAB is common in the UK and Sweden, and women are more likely to be affected then men. • The impact of OAB is evident across generic and condition-specific domains of health-related quality of life.

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