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Seasonal variations in overactive bladder drug prescription rates in women: a nationwide population-based study



Colder seasons can aggravate lower urinary tract symptoms, especially an overactive bladder (OAB). This aspect has been extensively studied in men and rarely in women. We investigated whether colder seasons influence OAB-drug prescription rates (OAB-DPRs) in women.


Women aged > 18 years were selected from the Korean Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service-National Patient Sample data between 2012 and 2016. OAB-DPR was calculated according to age and seasonal groups. The prescription rates in summer (June, July, and August) and winter (January, February, and December) months were compared. Sub-analysis was performed according to age group.


In total, 3,061,343 adult women were included. The overall OAB-DPR was 3.75% (114,940/3,061,343). Overall OAB-DPRs in summer and winter were 1.41% (43,090/3,061,343) and 1.54% (47,038/3,061,343), respectively (p < 0.001). Seasonal variations in OAB-DPRs differed by age group (p < 0.001): OAB-DPRs were significantly lower in winter than in summer months in women aged < 50 years (odds ratio 0.942; 95% confidence interval 0.918–0.967; p < 0.001), but significantly higher in winter than in summer months in women aged ≥ 50 years (odds ratio 1.153; 95% confidence interval 1.135–1.171; p < 0.001).


In this study, a correlation was noted between OAB-DPR and seasons. OAB-DPRs were higher in the summer in women aged < 50 years and higher in the winter in women aged ≥ 50 years. Our findings suggest that female hormonal status may be involved in the contradictory effect of seasons on OAB symptoms.

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Authors and Affiliations



JWK: project development, data analysis, and manuscript writing; HKA, JK, DL, and JSH: project development and data analysis; JHK and SJP: data collection and management; KSC: project development and manuscript editing.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kang Su Cho.

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Conflict of interest

Mr. Jae Hwan Kim and Ms. So Jeong Park are researchers at Hanmi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Seoul, Korea; however, they had no influence on this work in relation with the company or its products. No other authors had potential conflict of interest to disclose.

Ethics approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The study was approved by the institutional research committee of Gangnam Severance Hospital (Reg. No. 3-2019-0340).

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Waived by the institutional review board of Gangnam Severance Hospital.

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Waived by the institutional review board of Gangnam Severance Hospital.

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Kim, J.W., Ahn, H.K., Ko, J. et al. Seasonal variations in overactive bladder drug prescription rates in women: a nationwide population-based study. World J Urol 39, 877–882 (2021).

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  • Seasons
  • Urinary bladder
  • Overactive
  • Variation
  • Women