New Survey Finds Women with OAB Symptoms Are Not Diagnosed
March 12, 2013 (CHARLESTON, SC) - Today, the National Association For Continence announced findings from a new, nationwide survey of women about overactive bladder (OAB). The survey compared responses from 1,017 women aged 40-65 with no symptoms of OAB and another 652 women aged 40-65 with symptoms of mild to moderate OAB. Strikingly, the survey found that of the women with OAB symptoms, only 13 percent have ever been diagnosed with the condition, pointing to the fact that many women experience OAB symptoms, but are not diagnosed. Moreover, more than half of the women with OAB symptoms (53%) said that they think their bladder leakage will get worse over time. MSD Consumer Care, Inc., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., paid for the survey to be developed and fielded.
Affecting more than 20 million women in the U.S., OAB is characterized by the presence of bothersome urinary symptoms, including urgency, frequency and/or urgency incontinence (leakage). OAB and urinary urgency incontinence occur about twice as frequently in women as in men and can have a far reaching impact on sufferers' emotional and physical well-being. In fact, the survey found that nearly a third (30%) of women with mild to moderate OAB symptoms are concerned about the health of their bladder and 28 percent worry about not being able to control their bladder in public. In contrast, just three percent of women without OAB symptoms are concerned about their bladder and only one percent worries about having an accident in public. Additionally, only slightly more than half (57%) of women with OAB symptoms said they feel in control of their lives most of the time compared to the majority of women (78%) without symptoms.
"At this stage in life, women should be free to travel, spend time with friends and family and do what they love most without the burdensome and interrupting symptoms of OAB," said Nancy Muller, PhD, executive director of NAFC. "There are several options that women can explore to help manage their OAB symptoms, including lifestyle and behavioral changes, prescription treatments and a new, over-the-counter treatment coming soon."
Utilizing the Health Belief Model, a social learning and psychological model that attempts to explain and predict health behaviors, NAFC developed a Health Beliefs Survey completed by 1,017 women (aged 40-65) with no symptoms of OAB and compared the results with responses from 652 women (aged 40-65) with symptoms of mild to moderate OAB. The purpose of the survey was to learn about perceptions and concerns that arise as women age and where bladder health ranks in their list of worries. In order to identify and segregate women with mild to moderate symptoms from those with more severe symptoms, the research firm applied a published, validated screening tool in recruiting potential respondents. This valuable tool was used to identify OAB sufferers for this nationwide consumer survey. The margin of error in comparing the two groups of respondents is +/- 3.8 percent.
This research was conducted by Kelton Global Research, a market research company. MSD Consumer Care, Inc., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., paid for the survey to be developed and fielded and provided editorial input on this announcement.