The Effect of Social Determinants of Health on Overactive Bladder Symptom Severity

Laura Tellechea, Stephanie Zuo, Jaden R. Kohn, Melissa J. Fazzari, Ruth Eisenberg, Justin Lee, Melissa Laudano, Chi Chiung Grace Chen, Nitya Abraham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Purpose:Social determinants of health may significantly impact overall health and drive health disparities. We evaluated the association between social determinants of health and overactive bladder severity.Materials and Methods:We conducted a multicenter, cross-sectional study of patients presenting to outpatient female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery clinics at Montefiore Medical Center (Bronx, New York) and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center (Baltimore, Maryland) from November 2018 to November 2019. Surveys were administered to screen for overactive bladder (Overactive Bladder-Validated 8-Question Screener) and to evaluate social determinants of health. Ordinal logistic regression models were used to examine the association between overactive bladder symptom level and social determinants of health items, while adjusting for age, race, body mass index, parity, history of pelvic surgery and clinical site.Results:A total of 256 patients with a mean±SD age of 58.6±14.2 years and body mass index of 30.4±7.5 kg/m2were recruited over a 12-month period. Our sample was 33.6% White, 32% Black and 29.3% Hispanic, with 5.1% categorized as other. A higher overactive bladder symptom level was associated with food insecurity (OR 2.51, 95% CI 1.03-6.11), financial strain (OR 1.94, 95% CI 1.06-3.53), difficulty finding or keeping employment (OR 3.14, 95% CI 1.01-9.72) and difficulty concentrating (OR 2.48, 95% CI 1.25-4.95), after adjusting for site, age, race, body mass index, parity and previous pelvic surgery.Conclusions:In this cross-sectional study, certain social determinants of health were associated with greater overactive bladder severity. Unmet social needs may impact the success of overactive bladder treatment. Urologists should consider collaborating with social work and mental health specialists to better serve patients with overactive bladder and social determinants of health needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1415-1420
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2021


  • epidemiology
  • social determinants of health
  • socioeconomic factors
  • urinary bladder, overactive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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