Overactive bladder symptoms, stress urinary incontinence and associated bother in women aged 40 and above; a Belgian epidemiological survey
deRidder D, Roumeguère T, Kaufman L.Int J ClinPract. 2013 Mar;67(3):198-204. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.12015.


University Hospitals KU Leuven, Urology, Leuven, Belgium Erasme University Hospital-ULB, Urology, Brussels, Belgium Veeda Clinical Research NV, Biometrics Department, Brussels, Belgium.


Aim:  This Belgian epidemiological study aimed to assess the prevalence of overactive bladder (OAB) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and associated bother in a female primary care population. Methods:  Data on OAB and SUI were prospectively collected among women ≥ 40 years by general practitioners (GP) during a regular visit for any reason. The validated Bladder Control Self-Assessment Questionnaire (B-SAQ) was used and complemented with a question on SUI and bladder bother. The presence of mild bladder control symptoms (BCS) was defined as an overall B-SAQ symptom score (OSS) ≥ 4 and an overall bother score (OBS) ≥ 1. Descriptive statistics were performed. Results:  Data from 7139 women were analysed. About 33.9% had mild BCS. Most women reported overall mild OAB symptoms (46.9%) and 34.9% had moderate-to-(very) severe symptoms. The prevalence of moderate-severe urgency, frequency or nocturia was higher than that of moderate-severe incontinence. Urgency and nocturia were considered the most bothersome symptoms. Moderate-severe SUI affected 17.7% of women. About 16.4% of women reported to be moderately-severely bothered by their bladder in everyday life. The risk of severe symptoms and bother increased with age. About 10% of women had clinically significant BCS (OSS ≥ 7 and OBS ≥ 4). Conclusions:  In Belgian women ≥ 40 years visiting a GP for any reason, one in three had mild BCS and might benefit from further evaluation. Up to 10% of these women had clinically significant BCS for which medical therapy might be necessary. This warrants awareness for early diagnosis and intervention.