London – Increased binge drinking among women is leading to previously unseen cases of burst bladders, a report said on Friday.
The condition is more common among men, but three female cases were reported at the Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, Yorkshire, during the past year.
The condition among women is so rare that hospital staff had difficulty at first diagnosing it as a ruptured bladder.
Dr Mohantha Dooldeniya told the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that his team initially thought the women were suffering from urinary infection or appendicitis.
‘Women have now caught up with men in their alcohol consumption’
All three later underwent bladder surgery.
"Alcohol consumption increases the volume of urine held within the bladder and dulls the senses such that the patient has a reduced urge to void despite the increased bladder volume," the report said.
"Minor trauma, such as from a fall, will further increase the pressure and can cause rupture."
Alcohol misuse costs the NHS up to £3-billion a year.
About 510 per 100 000 female hospital admissions were attributable to alcohol in England last year, up from 466 the previous year, Liverpool John Moores University said in a report last month.
That compared with 909 per 100 000 for men.
"Women have now caught up with men in their alcohol consumption, and health concerns that were initially raised about drinking habits in men now seem to affect women as well," the BMJ said.