Objectives: To identify different patterns (trajectories) of childhood urinary incontinence and examine which patterns are associated with bladder and bowel symptoms in adolescence.
Design: Prospective cohort study.
Setting: General community.
Participants: The starting sample included 8751 children (4507 men and 4244 women) with parent-reported data on frequency of bedwetting and daytime wetting for at least three of five time points (4½, 5½, 6½, 7½ and 9½ years-hereafter referred to as 4-9 years). Study children provided data on a range of bladder and bowel symptoms at age 14 (data available for 5899 participants).
Outcome measures: Self-reported bladder and bowel symptoms at 14 years including daytime wetting, bedwetting, nocturia, urgency, frequent urination, low voided volume, voiding postponement, passing hard stools and low stool frequency.
Results: We extracted 5 trajectories of urinary incontinence from 4 to 9 years using longitudinal latent class analysis: (1) normative development of daytime and night-time bladder control (63.0% of the sample), (2) delayed attainment of bladder control (8.6%), (3) bedwetting alone (no daytime wetting) (15.6%), (4) daytime wetting alone (no bedwetting) (5.8%) and (5) persistent wetting (bedwetting with daytime wetting to age 9) (7.0%). The persistent wetting class generally showed the strongest associations with the adolescent bladder and bowel symptoms: OR for bedwetting at 14 years=23.5, 95% CI (15.1 to 36.5), daytime wetting (6.98 (4.50 to 10.8)), nocturia (2.39 (1.79 to 3.20)), urgency (2.10 (1.44 to 3.07)) and passing hard stools (2.64 (1.63 to 4.27)) (reference category=normative development). The association with adolescent bedwetting was weaker for children with bedwetting alone (3.69 (2.21 to 6.17)).
Conclusions: Trajectories of childhood urinary incontinence are differentially associated with adolescent bladder and bowel symptoms. Children exhibiting persistent bedwetting with daytime wetting had the poorest outcomes in adolescence.
Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.