Epidemiological studies based on the definition of Bladder Pain Syndrome do not exist. Epidemiological data on the prevalence of PBS/IC is scarce and variable. This is due to the inconsistency of diagnostic criteria and relative rarity of the disease and methodological problems. The questionnaires used may have good specificity and low sensitivity or vice versa. Many studies are based on institutional observations, and only few genuine population-based studies have been carried out.

The problems are reflected in the reported results, with the prevalence figures of PBS/IC varying from as low as 4.5 cases per 100,000 to as high as 12,600 per 100,000. Most studies come from the United States with very different results, but lately also some European and Asian data has been published. The prevalence figures reported in these seem to be rather similar and are in the range of 230–450 female cases per 100,000, thus demonstrating no major racial difference.

The prevalence of many diseases and conditions is known to be increased in PBS/IC patients compared with normal population. The most often reported are various allergies, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, vulvodynia and some autoimmune diseases. Genetic susceptibility has also been reported but large-scale epidemiological data on this aspect are still missing.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Interstitial Cystitis Prevalence Figure Bladder Pain Syndrome 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mirja Ruutu
    • 1
  • Mikael Leppilahti
    • 2
  • Jukka Sairanen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of UrologyHelsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki UniversityHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Seinäjoki Central HospitalSeinäjokiFinland

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