In the Journal of Urology, data was presented by Markland et al following data analysis of nearly 18,000 adults (age 20 or older) participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys between 2001 and 2008.
In the combined surveys the prevalence of urinary incontinence (UI) in women was 51.1%, in men it was 13.9%. In the combined surveys the prevalence of urinary incontinence (UI) in women was 51.1%, in men it was 13.9%. Factors that the authors associated with UI included "...age, race/athnicity, obesity, diabetes and chronic medical conditions (prostate disease in men.)" After standardization for age, it was noted that prevalence of UI increased in both men and women over the time during which the surveys were completed.
The authors point out that especially for women, decreasing obesity and diabetes may contribute to lower rates of urinary incontinence. Prior research has concurred that even a 5-10% loss of body weight in obese women can improve urinary symptoms. Although weight loss may feel like a sensitive subjective to discuss with our patients, it seems an appropriate topic to share when our patients are inquiring about prognosis and interventions.
It is remarkable that the prevalence of UI is so high, and it is imperative that the field of pelvic rehabilitation continues to grow so that we can best serve our patients.