The objective of this study was to compare women with a known diagnosis of interstitial cystitis (IC) to a population that might be at risk for the diagnosis of IC, women with diagnoses of both chronic pelvic pain (CPP) and overactive bladder (OAB).
We conducted a retrospective study of data from the Veterans Affairs Corporate Data Warehouse. The cohort included all female veterans who had established care with a primary care provider from 1997 to present. International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes were used to identify women with a diagnosis of IC, CPP, and OAB. Demographic data and comorbidities were compared between groups.
A total of 596,815 women were identified. Two thousand three hundred one women (0.4%) were diagnosed with IC; 4459 women (0.7%) were diagnosed with CPP and OAB. At baseline, women with OAB and CPP were more likely to identify as minority (P < 0.001). Anxiety (57.3% vs 49.5%), depression (39.0% vs 46.0%), and posttraumatic stress disorder (29.7 vs 26.4%) were all more common in the CPP and OAB group than in the IC group. In the multivariable model, women with CPP and OAB were more likely to identify as a minority, use tobacco, and carry a diagnosis of anxiety.
There were more patients diagnosed with CPP and OAB compared with patients diagnosed with IC in this population of female veterans. Given the high rate of comorbid anxiety and depression in both groups, further study is warranted to determine whether these women are misdiagnosed.
From the *Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA;
†Veterans Health Administration and
‡University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM; and
§University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX.
Correspondence: Sara B. Cichowski, MD, Veterans Health Administration Albuquerque, 1501 San Pedro SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108. E-mail: Sara.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The authors have declared they have no conflicts of interest.