Aims: Refractory overactive bladder (OAB) is among the most common reasons for referral to specialists in voiding dysfunction. Significant racial and ethnic disparities exist in prevalence, severity, and management of OAB, presenting care barriers for marginalized patients. We aim to explicate these disparities and explore the factors that led to their existence and persistence. We will additionally offer suggestions to mitigate such disparities and approach equitable care for our patients. Methods: This is a narrative review of pertinent articles related to health disparities in OAB. Articles on OAB prevalence stratified by race and ethnicity, and variations in treatment patterns for patients of marginalized backgrounds were identified from the PubMed database. We also included a review of evidence from governmental and historical sources to provide sociocultural context. Results: Patients from marginalized backgrounds are underrepresented in OAB literature. There appear to be differences in symptom severity and prevalence based on race. OAB severity seems closely entwined with social determinants of health. Patients from marginalized populations experience numerous care barriers impeding the treatment of OAB. Finally, White patients are more likely to receive advanced management for OAB. Conclusions: Numerous health disparities exist in the diagnosis and management of OAB. This review is grounded in societal context: health injustice in the United States ultimately stems from systemic racism. Improving our understanding of care disparities and the systems that allow them to persist will bring us closer to equity and allow our patients from marginalized backgrounds to obtain the evidence-based care they deserve.
- health disparities
- overactive bladder
- social determinants of health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology