Urologic Burden in Veterans Similar to National Data

Prevalence of common conditions rises when assessed as 'any' rather than primary diagnosis

TUESDAY, July 22 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of urologic conditions among users of Veterans Affairs health care services is comparable to other national data, but the prevalence rises when rates are based on "any" diagnoses at a physician visit, according to research published in the July issue of Urology.

Jennifer T. Anger, M.D., of the University of California Los Angeles in Santa Monica, Calif., and colleagues examined the prevalence of benign prostatic hyperplasia/lower urinary tract symptoms (BPH/LUTS), urolithiasis or kidney stones, urinary tract infections (UTI), and urinary incontinence among adult veteran users of the VA in fiscal year 2001.

When listed as the primary reason for the visit, the prevalence of BPH/LUTS among those aged 40 and over was 4,811 per 100,000 veterans (4.8 percent); kidney stones was 597 per 100,000 (0.6 percent); UTI was 4,265 and 1,719 per 100,000 females and males, respectively (4.3 and 1.7 percent); and incontinence was 2,161 and 515 per 100,000 females and males, respectively (2.2 and 0.5 percent). Counting prevalence based on "any" diagnosis versus primary diagnosis almost doubled the estimated prevalence of female urinary incontinence, the study authors note.

"As the demographics of the United States veteran population shift, the patterns of urologic disease prevalence and resource use within the VA system will also likely change. Continued military activity both here and abroad will result in growing numbers of young veterans entering the VA system. The numbers of women in active-duty service have increased, and this will lead to an even greater need for both primary and specialty women's health care," concludes Tomas L. Griebling, M.D., of the University of Kansas in Kansas City, in an accompanying editorial.

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