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Characterizing the Spectrum of Bladder Health and Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS) among Women: Results from the CARDIA Study

To operationalize a new definition for bladder health, we examined the distribution of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and impact, along with associated factors, among women in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. We performed cluster analyses using validated LUTS symptom burden and impact scales collected between 2005-2006 and 2010-2011. We performed multinomial logistic regression analyses to evaluate cardiovascular factors (metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular health behaviors, and inflammation) between clusters after adjusting for covariates (demographic, obstetric/gynecologic, co-morbidities). Among CARDIA women (median age 51, range 42-59) with complete LUTS data (n = 1302), we identified and compared 4 cluster groups: women who reported no or very mild symptoms and no impact on well-being (bladder health, 44%, n = 569), versus women with LUTS and negative impact on well-being ranging from mild (31%, n = 407), moderate (20%, n = 259), to severe (5%, n = 67). With each 1-point lower BMI (kg/m2), odds of membership in mild (OR 0.97, CI 0.95-0.99), moderate (OR 0.95, CI 0.93-0.98), and severe (OR 0.90, CI 0.88-0.94) LUTS cluster groups versus the bladder health group were lower. Compared to women with metabolic syndrome, women without metabolic syndrome had lower odds of membership in mild (OR 0.67, CI 0.45-0.99), moderate (OR 0.51, CI 0.33-0.79), and severe (OR 0.48, CI 0.24-0.94) LUTS cluster groups versus the bladder health group. Two out of 5 midlife women met our definition of bladder health. Bladder health and cardiovascular health among women may share common factors, including lower BMI and the absence of metabolic syndrome.

Authors: Markland, Alayne D; Shan, Liang; Brady, Sonya S; Schreiner, Pamela J; Sidney, Stephen; Van Den Eeden, Stephen K; Lewis, Cora E

Urology. 2021 12;158:88-94. Epub 2021-06-02.

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