Refugee Status as a Possible Risk Factor for Childhood Enuresis

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Apr 11;16(7):1293. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16071293.


This study investigated the influence of refugee status on the occurrence of enuresis. It was performed among school children aged 6 to 11 years and their parents in the Vukovarsko-srijemska County (eastern Croatia), which had many displaced persons and refugees (mostly women and children) in the 1990s due to the wars in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. A specially designed questionnaire (about the child's age and gender, the child's enuresis history and that of the parents, and data on parental refugee status in childhood) was completed by one of the parents. Adequate data were collected for 3046 children. The prevalence of enuresis among the studied children was quite low (2.3%) but the prevalence distribution according to gender, the decline by age, and the higher odds ratio for paternal enuresis were in line with the results of other studies. The prevalence of parental enuresis in childhood was higher than their children's enuresis (mothers: 5.8%, fathers: 3.6%, p < 0.001), and significantly higher among parents who had been refugees (mothers: p = 0.001, fathers: p = 0.04). Parental refugee status had no influence on the children's enuresis. The results suggest that refugee status is a risk factor for the occurrence of enuresis in childhood.

Keywords: child; enuresis; prevalence; refugees.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Croatia / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Enuresis / epidemiology
  • Enuresis / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Prevalence
  • Refugees / psychology*
  • Refugees / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urinary Incontinence / epidemiology
  • Urinary Incontinence / psychology*