Bladder pain syndrome or interstitial cystitis (BPS/IC) is associated with a high rate of mental health disorders, including depression. Little is known about suicide risk in patients with BPS/IC or the characteristics of patients with BPS/IC who endorse suicidal ideation (SI). We compared respondents who endorsed SI with respondents who denied SI within a national probability sample of women with BPS/IC symptoms.
Data were collected as part of the RAND Interstitial Cystitis Epidemiology (RICE) Study, which screened 146,246 U.S. households to identify adult women who met BPS/IC symptom criteria. In addition to estimating SI prevalence, women with and without recent SI were compared based on demographics, depression symptoms, BPS/IC symptoms, functioning, and treatment utilization.
Of 1,019 women with BPS/IC symptoms asked about SI, 11.0% (95% CI: 8.73–13.25) reported SI in the past 2 weeks. Those with SI were more likely to be younger, unemployed, unmarried, uninsured, less educated, and of lower income. Women who endorsed SI reported worse mental health functioning, physical health functioning, and BPS/IC symptoms. Women with SI were more likely to have received mental health treatment, but did not differ on whether they had received BPS/IC treatment. Multivariate logistic regression analyses indicated that severity of BPS/IC symptoms did not independently predict likelihood of endorsing SI.
Results suggest that BPS/IC severity may not increase the likelihood of SI except via severity of depression symptoms. Additional work is needed to understand how to address the increased needs of women with both BPS/IC and SI.