COVID-19 infection increases the risk of new or worsening OAB symptoms
COVID-19 infection increases the risk of new or worsening OAB symptoms

COVID-19 infection increases the risk of new or worsening OAB symptoms

Patients with COVID-19 infection are at increased risk of developing new or worsening symptoms of overactive bladder (OAB), according to data presented at the American Urological Association’s annual meeting in 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Ly Hoang Roberts, MD, of Oakland University, Royal Oak, Michigan, and colleagues noted that they were the first American group to identify de novo genitourinary symptoms, such as frequency, urgency, nocturia, and pain / pressure in people with previous COVID 19 infection. They called this condition COVID-19 associated cystitis (CAC).

Among the BLAST COVID study group, 1,895 people responded to a study that assessed their OAB symptoms before and after the onset of the pandemic, including 605 people infected with the COVID-19 virus. The vast majority of the study group were women (81.7%) and white race (85.8%). Blacks (4.1%), Asians (3.8%) and Hispanics (1.4%) made up the minority.

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Approximately one-third of patients with COVID-19 reported a clinically significant increase of 1 unit in symptoms of the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire Overactive Bladder Module (ICIQ-OAB) 2 months after infection compared to before the pandemic, reported Dr. Roberts. For 1 in 5 of these patients, OAB symptoms were new.

Comparing the pre-pandemic period with today, 35.7% of participants with previous COVID-19 infection and 15.7% of uninfected participants reported a 1-unit increase in symptoms of ICIQ-OAB. Infected patients had significantly 3.0-fold increased odds of new or worsening OAB symptoms.

COVID-19 antibody levels did not correlate with OAB symptoms, reported Dr. Roberts. She noted that patients with CAC are monitored prospectively to assess the progression of OAB symptoms.

In an interview, co-investigator Michael Chancellor, MD noted that their team has talked to other clinicians who observed CAC in their patients. “New symptoms of overactive bladder after COVID-19 may be disease-related,” he said. ‚ÄúReprocessing and processing should be as described in OAB guidelines. As we do not yet know if COVID-19 cystitis disappears or persists for “a long time”, we should treat patients conservatively and avoid surgery or permanent procedures. ”


Hoang Roberts L, Swan B, Chancellor M, Peters K, Padmanabhan P. Prevalence of new or worsening OAB symptoms in patients with a history of SARS CoV-2 infection. Presented at: AUA 2022; May 13-16, 2022, New Orleans, Louisiana. Abstract PD21-08.

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