Uncovering the Hidden Burden of Benign Genitourinary Conditions
Benign urologic conditions (BUCs)—including urinary tract infections, urologic chronic pelvic pain syndrome, erectile dysfunction (ED), conditions associated with lower urinary tract symptoms (e.g., urinary incontinence, frequency, urgency, nocturia), and urinary stone disease (USD)—are common. Existing epidemiological data suggest that BUCs may play a role in development of obesity, diabetes, depression, and hypertension and may be early manifestations of systemic conditions (e.g., ED and cardiovascular disease; nocturia and chronic kidney disease). Yet BUCs are rarely considered in the context of overall health or recognized as potential factors on the casual pathway of research on these conditions. As a result, the true burden of BUCs remains hidden. We lack the data to understand the total burden on these conditions in terms of combined prevalence; economic costs; and physical, mental, and social health consequences. Ability to understand this burden is complicated by (1) low recognition and diagnosis of BUCs (with the exception of USD) in the clinical setting, as patients often don’t seek care; (2) lack of an existing comprehensive measure to screen for patients with BUCs; and (3) a history of studying BUCs in silos—with each condition or symptom group studied separately from the others.
The purpose of the workshop is to convene an interdisciplinary group of researchers and health professionals—including urologists and urogynecologists working in traditional benign urologic condition (BUC) silos, primary care providers, measurement and data scientists, basic scientists, economists, policy experts, public health professionals, and others—to answer key questions, including the following:
- What data are needed to understand the hidden burden of BUCs?
- How can these data be captured in a feasible manner to build a complete picture of the burden of BUCs? Are new tools needed for the data capture?
September 27, 2019