Center for Advanced Practice


Impact of Race, Gender, and Socioeconomic Status on Symptom Severity at Time of Urologic Referral.

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J Racial Ethn Health Disparities

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The Dysfunctional Voiding and Incontinence Scoring System (DVISS) is a validated tool to evaluate lower urinary tract dysfunction (LUTD) severity in children. DVISS provides a quantitative score (0-35) including a quality-of-life measure, with higher values indicating more/worse symptoms. Clinically, variability exists in symptom severity when patients present to pediatric urology with LUTD. We hypothesized that symptom severity at consultation varied based on race, gender, and/or socioeconomic status.

METHODS: All urology encounters at a single institution with completed modified DVISS scores 6/2015-3/2018 were reviewed. Initial visits for patients 5-21 years old with non-neurogenic LUTD were included. Patients with neurologic disorders or genitourinary tract anomalies were excluded. Wilcoxon rank sum tests compared scores between White and Black patients and between male and female patients. Multiple regression models examined relationships among race, gender, estimated median household income, and insurance payor type. All statistics were performed using Stata 15.

RESULTS: In total, 4086 initial patient visits for non-neurogenic LUTD were identified. Median DVISS scores were higher in Black (10) versus White (8) patients (p < 0.001). Symptom severity was higher in females (9) versus males (8) (p < 0.001). When estimated median income and insurance payer types were introduced into a multiple regression model, race, gender, and insurance payer type were significantly associated with symptom severity at presentation.

CONCLUSIONS: Race, gender, and socioeconomic status significantly impact LUTS severity at the time of urologic consultation. Future studies are needed to clarify the etiologies of these disparities and to determine their clinical significance.


Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction, Racial Disparities, Socioeconmic Disparities, Pediatric Urology, Gender Disparities, Dysfunctional Voiding



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