Epidemiology of childhood nocturnal enuresis in Malaysia

J Paediatr Child Health. 2003 Mar;39(2):118-23. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1754.2003.00105.x.


Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of nocturnal enuresis in primary school children in Malaysia and to determine the factors associated with primary nocturnal enuresis.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey. A total of 3371 self-administered questionnaires were distributed to parents of children aged 7, 9 and 12 years attending four primary schools in the city. The ICD-10 definition of enuresis was used.

Results: From an overall response rate of 73.8%, nocturnal enuresis was reported in 200 children (8%), primary nocturnal enuresis in 156 children (6.2%) and secondary nocturnal enuresis in 44 children (1.8%). Fifty-three percent of those with primary enuresis had a positive family history, and 54% had two or more wet nights per week. Eighty-seven percent had not sought any form of treatment despite 74% admitting to being embarrassed. Using logistic regression analysis, only three factors were significant predictors of primary nocturnal enuresis. These were: (i) younger age (P < 0.001); (ii) male sex (P < 0.033); and (iii) Indian ethnic group (P < 0.044) compared to Chinese.

Conclusion: The prevalence of nocturnal enuresis in urban-dwelling Malaysian children is similar to that reported from Korea and Taiwan but appears to be lower than that reported from developed countries. Predictive factors associated with primary nocturnal enuresis included lower age group, male sex and Indian ethnicity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Enuresis / diagnosis
  • Enuresis / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Logistic Models
  • Malaysia / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Probability
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Surveys and Questionnaires