An epidemiologic study of voiding and bowel habits in Korean children: a nationwide multicenter study

Urology. 2010 Jul;76(1):215-9. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2009.12.022. Epub 2010 Feb 16.


Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of abnormal voiding and bowel habits in healthy children, and to identify possible relationships between personal and familial factors and voiding and/or bowel habits.

Methods: A randomly selected cross-sectional study was conducted in 19,240 children (5-13 years old) nationwide in the Republic of Korea. Parents were asked to complete questionnaires, which included items about nocturnal enuresis, daytime dysfunctional voiding symptoms (DVSs), and abnormal bowel habits (ABHs). Rates and associated factors were investigated.

Results: The overall rates of DVS, ABH, and of both were 46.4%, 31.3%, and 18.4%, respectively, and nocturnal enuresis was reported in 919 (5.6%). Daytime dysfunctional voiding symptoms were as follows: increased voiding frequency in 419 (2.5%), decreased voiding frequency in 720 (4.4%), urgency in 2740 (16.6%), daytime incontinence in 1854 (11.2%), urge incontinence in 2775 (16.8%), and holding maneuvers or postponed voiding in 3888 (23.5%). ABHs were as follows: constipation by frequency in 1103 (6.7%), constipation by the Bristol scale in 1941 (11.8%), fecal incontinence in 1293 (7.8%), and difficult or painful defecation in 2609 (15.8%). Delayed stool control, history of urinary tract infection, and a double-income family were positively associated with DVS or ABH or both. Furthermore, fathers with a low level of education and a low income were found to be associated with higher risk of ABH or DVS or both.

Conclusions: Delayed stool control, a history of urinary tract infection, a low paternal level of education, a double-income family, and a lower family income had a negative effect on voiding or bowel habits in children.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Constipation / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Fecal Incontinence / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Republic of Korea / epidemiology
  • Urination Disorders / epidemiology*