Real-world characteristics of elderly patients with overactive bladder in the United States

Objectives: Although much has been published about the demographic and clinical characteristics of elderly patients with overactive bladder (OAB) who were enrolled in clinical trials, very little is known about the general population of elderly Americans with OAB. We update this gap in the literature by using real-world data to describe this population.

Methods: We used Medicare claims and the Medicare Current Beneficiary Surveys from 2006 to 2011 to identify patients with OAB. We describe the demographic characteristics, functional impairment and physical limitations, concurrent medical conditions, Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) scores, and concomitant medication use of patients with OAB; these characteristics are also described by sex and age group (65–74 vs. ≥75 years). We also compare the characteristics of OAB with non-OAB patients.

Results: We identified 415 elderly patients with OAB (average age 79 years; 71% female) and 6868 without OAB (average age 77 years; 62% female). Patients with OAB reported high levels of functional impairment as measured by the Activities of Daily Living (44% vs. 33% for non-OAB patients), Instrumental ADL (53% vs. 40% for non-OAB patients), and physical functioning limitation (90% vs. 81% for non-OAB patients) scales. Elderly patients with OAB also experienced high levels of comorbidity burden, as measured by the number of medical conditions (18 vs. 11 for non-OAB patients), CCI (2.1 vs. 1.4 for non-OAB patients), and number of non-OAB-related concomitant medications used (11 vs. 8 for non-OAB patients).

Conclusions: Elderly patients with OAB in the general population have high levels of functional impairment and physical limitations, comorbidity, and concomitant medication use. These characteristics should be taken into consideration when managing OAB symptoms and designing future clinical studies. These results, which are representative of elderly patients with OAB in the general US population, should, however, be interpreted in light of the key limitations of the data we used: patients may have been misclassified and medical conditions overestimated due to artifacts of diagnosis coding and our results can only be generalized to patients who were enrolled in Medicare Parts A, B, and D for at least 12 continuous months.