Incidence of genitourinary conditions in women with a diagnosis of vulvar/vaginal atrophy

Ginger D. Constantine, Nico Bruyniks, Nicole Princic, Daniel Huse, Liisa Palmer, Greg Lenhart, William A. Blumentals, Rossella E. Nappi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Vulvar/vaginal atrophy (VVA) is one genitourinary condition associated with a decline in estrogen. This may be bothersome for women following menopause. Although the clinical features of VVA and other conditions after menopause have been documented, few studies have quantified the magnitude of association between VVA and other genitourinary conditions. Methods: A VVA cohort was identified from two United States administrative claims databases. A matched cohort of an equal number of controls was randomly selected from a pool of women 40-79 years of age without VVA. Baseline characteristics and medical history were tabulated for the VVA cohort and matched controls. Six genitourinary conditions ('urinary tract infections', 'other/unspecified genitourinary symptoms', 'other inflammatory diseases of female pelvic organs', 'menopausal disorders', 'female genital pain and other symptoms', and 'other/unspecified female genital disorders') were hypothesized a priori to be associated with VVA. Adjusted incidence rate ratios measured the strength of association of VVA with each condition. Results: A total of 9080 women aged 40-79 years with newly diagnosed VVA during 2000-2010 were identified. The mean age of VVA patients and matched controls was 60.2 years. At baseline, a significantly (p <0.001) higher proportion of women in the VVA cohort had a diagnosis of angina, osteoporosis, migraines, insomnia, or anxiety, or received estrogen supplementation or selective estrogen receptor modulators. VVA patients had a significantly (p <0.001) higher incidence of each of the genitourinary conditions compared to controls. The condition most strongly associated with VVA with a relative risk of 6.2 was 'other inflammatory diseases of female pelvic organs'. Conclusions: Women with VVA have a greater risk of genitourinary conditions compared to those without. The overall prevalence of VVA and other genitourinary conditions may be underreported as claims data only captures information for patients under medical care and many women do not seek consultation for VVA symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-148
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Medical Research and Opinion
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • Clinical classification software
  • Genitourinary conditions
  • ICD-9-CM diagnosis
  • Incidence
  • Vulvar/vaginal atrophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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