MONDAY, March 27, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Women who suffer from urinary incontinence are at nearly twice the risk of depression compared to women without the troubling disorder, Canadian researchers report.
They also found that younger women with incontinence were more likely to be depressed than older women with incontinence.
The findings appear in the March-April issue of the journal Psychosomatics.
Researchers analyzed Canadian Community Health Survey data on over 69,000 non-pregnant women aged 18 and older.
The rate of depression in women with incontinence was 15.5 percent, compared with 9.2 percent for women without incontinence. The rate of depression was 30 percent for women ages 18 to 44 with incontinence.
The study also found that the combination of incontinence and depression was associated with a variety of negative effects, including stress, lost days from work, and increased visits to doctors.
Lead author Dr. Donna E. Stewart, chair of Women's Health at the University of Toronto, noted that the study did not evaluate the severity of incontinence among the women. She added that incontinence may have been underreported by the women in the survey because they were asked about it only in the context of chronic conditions that had been diagnosed by a doctor.
Many women don't see their doctor about incontinence and refer to it as dribbling, leaking, or lack of bladder control.
Stewart said a further study of incontinence and depression in women who may not have a doctor's diagnosis of incontinence is under way.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about urinary incontinence in women.