Investigation of voiding dysfunction in a population-based sample of children aged 3 to 9 years

Denise M. Mota, Cesar G. Victora, Pedro C. Hallal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To describe voiding patterns and related dysfunctions in a population-based sample of children aged 3 to 9 years. Methods: A cross-sectional population-based survey including 580 children. A probabilistic sample of households in the urban area of Pelotas in southern Brazil was selected following a multiple-stage protocol. Voiding and fecal patterns were investigated using the dysfunction score created by Farhat et al. and modified by the addition of high urinary frequency (more than eight times a day). Boys with scores above eight and girls above five were clinically investigated, as well as a sub-sample of the remaining children. Results: Nocturia (60.4%), urinary urgency (49.7%) and holding maneuvers (42.1%) were the most frequently reported symptoms. The prevalence of enuresis was 20.1% in boys and 15.1% in girls. The prevalence of urinary dysfunction was 22.8%. Most symptoms were more frequently reported by girls and younger children. Among girls, low socioeconomic level was related to an increased prevalence of enuresis and straining to urinate, while among boys urgency was more common among the poor. Only 10.5% of the parents of the children with voiding dysfunction consulted a doctor because of their problems. Conclusions: The voiding symptoms studied presented high prevalence rates, and therefore should be investigated in clinical practice, with direct questions about each symptom, aiming to diagnose voiding dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-232
Number of pages8
JournalJornal de Pediatria
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Enuresis
  • Toilet training
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Urinary tract
  • Urination disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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