Objective: To evaluate the impact of overactive bladder (OAB) on work productivity in a large, population-based study in the United States, with an overrepresentation of minorities.
Methods: This cross-sectional, Internet-based survey was conducted among men and women aged 18-70. The lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) tool was used to assess symptoms over past 4 weeks. OAB was defined by urinary urgency of at least "sometimes" and/or urgency urinary incontinence (UUI). Outcomes included work status, Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire--General Health (WPAI-GH) and Specific Health (WPAI-SH), and questions about the impact of urinary symptoms on work. Descriptive statistics were used to evaluate group differences (no/minimal symptoms [NMS] vs OAB). Logistic regressions evaluated predictors of unemployment status controlling for comorbid conditions, risk factors, and demographic variables.
Results: The response rate was 57%. A total of 5795 men and women were included in the analysis (OAB, 2323; NMS, 3472). OAB cases were significantly more likely to be unemployed (men, 44%; women, 54%) compared to those with NMS (men, 24%; women, 41%). Mean work productivity and activity impairment (WPAI) percent impairment while working was as follows: 19% and 21% among men and women with OAB; NMS, 4% and 7%. Significant differences were found for all urinary-specific WPAI-SHP items and other condition-specific outcomes. Men with OAB were 1.5 times more likely to be unemployed as compared to those with NMS when covariates were controlled for, whereas the association between OAB and unemployment in multivariate analysis was nonsignificant among women.
Conclusion: Comparison with other outcomes suggests that OAB impairs work at levels comparable to other serious chronic conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.