15 Mar Urinary Incontinence Affects Nearly Half of US Women
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Lin Yang, PhD
Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research
Cancer Care Alberta | Alberta Health Services | Canada
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Departments of Oncology and Community Health Sciences
University of Calgary | Canada
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Urinary incontinence disproportionately affects women. Urinary incontinence results in significant physical, social, and psychological adverse consequences that impair women’s quality of life and contribute to considerable healthcare costs. At the moment, the contemporary prevalence and recent trends in urinary incontinence in US women are unknown.
More importantly, there is a growing awareness that urinary incontinence is not part of normal aging, but very little information is available to inform prevention strategies. Therefore, we were also interested in exploring correlates of urinary incontinence in a population-based sample of US women.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: We found that urinary incontinence affects nearly half of the female population in the US, with stress urinary incontinence leading in prevalence (observed in 45.9% of women), followed by urgency urinary incontinence (observed in 31.1%). Altogether, 18.1% of the US female population is affected by mixed urinary incontinence. In the past decade, we also observed a rise in mixed urinary incontinence among women 60 years and older, driven by increases in urgency urinary incontinence.
Advanced age, obesity, smoking, comorbid medical conditions, and postmenopausal hormone therapy use were correlated with a higher prevalence of all types of urinary incontinence. We also observed some racial differences in subtypes of urinary incontinence.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Urinary incontinence is highly prevalent in US women, and this burden appears to have increased recently among those who are 60 years and older.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Our current cross-sectional analysis suggests that urinary incontinence affects some women more than others by age, race, and comorbidity status. The significant burden of urinary incontinence in the population warrants future investigation using prospective designs to identify modifiable risk factors for prevention strategies. Prevention efforts may also need to be directed at women at higher risk based on their age, race, and comorbidities.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: Urinary incontinence is a common female lower urinary tract disorder. Traditionally, these disorders have been considered a normal part of the aging process in women. Now, Prof. Siobhan Sutcliffe, the co-senior author on this paper, is leading the first-ever training program at Washington University School of Medicine, to provide clinical and research fellows with the necessary skills to address this growing women’s health problem.
Mohammad Abufaraj, Tianlin Xu, Chao Cao, Abdelmuez Siyam, Ula Isleem, Abdulla Massad, Francesco Soria, Shahrokh F. Shariat, Siobhan Sutcliffe, Lin Yang,
Prevalence and Trends in Urinary Incontinence Among Women in the United States 2005-2018,
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2021,
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