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Prevalence of Interstitial Cystitis in U.S. Much Larger Than Previously Believed

RAND Interstitial Cystitis Epidemiology (RICE) study estimates prevalence of 3 to 8 million women in U.S. with interstitial cystitis

WASHINGTON, May 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Three to eight million women in the United States may have interstitial cystitis (IC). This newly released prevalence number, presented at the 2009 American Urologic Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, represents about 3 to 6 percent of all U.S. women. This sharper picture of who has IC and what it is results from an expansive and rigorous epidemiology study funded by the National Institutes of Health, the RAND Interstitial Cystitis Epidemiology (RICE) study. The initial screening data from surveys of 100,000 households reveals IC prevalence much higher than was previously thought.

IC, also known as painful bladder syndrome (PBS), is a debilitating, chronic condition. Patients who appear healthy may actually be in constant, unremitting pain. In severe cases, the pain can be unrelenting, necessitating trips to the bathroom as often as every 10 to 15 minutes, both day and night.

The RICE study, led by researchers from RAND Corp., Santa Monica, CA, found that approximately 3 percent to 6 percent of American women over the age of 18 meet RICE symptom criteria for IC/PBS. In whole numbers, that translates to between 3.4 and 7.9 million women who have symptoms consistent with this debilitating condition.

"It is gratifying to see such a rigorous study that provides us with an accurate picture of how many American women are living with IC," said Barbara Gordon, executive director of the Interstitial Cystitis Association.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) supports efforts to increase awareness of IC and improve diagnosis and treatment of the illness through a cooperative agreement with the Interstitial Cystitis Association. "For the past 5 years this partnership with CDC has helped us make great strides in raising awareness of IC and in helping those living with IC. However, much remains to be done," said Gordon.

About the Interstitial Cystitis AssociationThe Interstitial Cystitis Association (ICA) is committed to finding more effective treatments and a cure for interstitial cystitis, an often painful, chronic bladder condition. The ICA promotes and funds research; educates the medical community and public; advocates for IC patients, healthcare providers, and researchers; and offers support for IC patients and their families. To learn more about ICA, successful treatment techniques and initiatives to find a cure, visit

SOURCE Interstitial Cystitis Association
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