Objectives: To examine whether the school toilet environment at age 13, including bullying at toilets, is associated with female lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) at ages 13 and 19, as little is known about the association among school toilet environment, voiding behaviors, and LUTS in adolescent girls. Methods: The sample comprised 3962 female participants from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. At age 13, participants reported on 7 school toilet environment characteristics and a range of LUTS items. At age 19, participants completed the Bristol Female Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms questionnaire. Results: All toilet environmental factors were associated with at least 1 LUTS outcome at age 13. Holding behavior was associated with all school toilet environmental factors, with odds ratios ranging from 1.36 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.05, 1.76) for dirty toilets to 2.38 (95% CI: 1.60, 3.52) for feeling bullied at toilets. Bullying was associated with all daytime LUTS symptoms and nocturia; odds ratios ranged from 1.60 (95% CI: 1.04, 2.07) for nocturia to 2.90 (95% CI: 1.77, 4.75) for urgency. Associations between age 13 school toilets and age 19 LUTS were in the same direction as age 13 LUTS. Conclusion: This is the first examination of associations between school toilets and LUTS. Toileting environments were cross-sectionally associated with LUTS in adolescent girls. While further work is needed to determine whether these associations are causal, school toilet environments are modifiable and thus a promising target for LUTS prevention.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The Prevention of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (PLUS) Research Consortium is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through cooperative agreements (grants U01DK106786, U01DK106853, U01DK106858, U01DK106898, U01DK106893, U01DK106827, U01DK106908, U01DK106892). Additional support is provided by the National Institute on Aging, NIH Office of Research on Women's Health, and NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research. The content of this article is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NIH. Funding for the ALSPAC study was provided by the UK Medical Research Council and Wellcome (Grant ref: 217065/Z/19/Z) and the University of Bristol provide core support for ALSPAC. A comprehensive list of grants funding is available on the ALSPAC website (http://www.bristol.ac.uk/alspac/external/documents/grant-acknowledgements.pdf). This publication is the work of the authors and will serve as guarantors for the contents of this paper.
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