What is the global prevalence of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) in women?

Updated: Dec 04, 2020
  • Author: Eric S Rovner, MD; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Reports from Europe indicate a prevalence of 18 cases per 100,000 women, whereas only 3-4 cases per 100,000 women are reported in Japan. The marked differences between these countries and the United States are likely due to differences in diagnostic criteria, varying from all-encompassing clinical criteria (eg, those from the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases [NIDDK] of the US National Institutes of Health) to very strict criteria based on a pathologic diagnosis. Epidemiological studies are difficult, given the wide variability in which patients are identified as research subjects. Some studies ask individuals to self-identify, while others survey physicians who may be unfamiliar with IC/BPS. [35]

Using a validated IC/BPS case definition, Berry et al discovered that only 50% of women who met criteria for IC/BPS had been evaluated by a urologist and only 10% carried the diagnosis, which strengthens the argument that this disease is largely underreported. [35]

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