Occupation and lower urinary tract symptoms in women: A rapid review and meta-analysis from the PLUS research consortium

Academic Article


  • Aims: Chronic, infrequent voiding may be a risk factor for lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in women. To inform this hypothesis, we conducted a rapid literature review and meta-analysis of LUTS by occupation as an indirect measure of infrequent voiding behaviors. Methods: Two independent medical librarians searched Pubmed.gov studies (1990-2017) on adult women for occupations, industries, and workplace environment and LUTS outcomes: overactive bladder (OAB), urinary incontinence (UI), urinary tract infections (UTIs), and individual voiding and storage LUTS. Two authors reviewed full text articles meeting content criteria. Among studies with similar UI definitions, we estimated the prevalence of monthly UI using a random effects meta-analysis model. Results: Of 1078 unique citations identified, 113 underwent full article review and 33 met inclusion criteria. Twenty-six of these studies examined specific occupation groups, including nurses/midwives (n = 6 studies), healthcare workers/support staff (n = 6), military personnel (n = 3), teachers (n = 3), and other groups (n = 7), whereas eight compared findings across broad occupation groups. UI was reported in 30 studies (23% using validated measures), OAB in 6 (50% validated), and UTIs in 2 (non-validated). In pooled models, the degree of heterogeneity was too high (I2 = 96.9-99.2%) among the studies to perform valid prevalence estimates for LUTS. Conclusions: Current literature limits the ability to evaluate LUTS by occupation types. Future studies should characterize voiding frequency and toilet access in a consistent manner by occupation and explore its relation to LUTS development.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 23538039
  • Author List

  • Markland A; Chu H; Epperson CN; Nodora J; Shoham D; Smith A; Sutcliffe S; Townsend M; Zhou J; Bavendam T
  • Start Page

  • 2881
  • End Page

  • 2892
  • Volume

  • 37
  • Issue

  • 8