Lifestyle Affects Incontinence Risk After Prostatectomy

Study suggests obese, inactive men have higher risk compared to non-obese, active men

THURSDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In men who undergo radical prostatectomy, obesity and physical inactivity are associated with an increased prevalence of urinary incontinence, according to a study in the February issue of The Journal of Urology.

Kathleen Y. Wolin, M.D., of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues studied a sample of patients who underwent radical prostatectomy, including 59 percent who were incontinent at six weeks and 22 percent who were incontinent at 58 weeks.

At 58 weeks, the researchers found that incontinence rates were 59 percent in obese and physically inactive men, 25 percent in obese and active men, 24 percent in non-obese and inactive men, and 16 percent in non-obese and active men.

"Given that urinary incontinence is a frequently reported bothersome side effect of prostatectomy, interventions that can prevent or moderate the impact have great clinical care relevance," the authors write. "Our findings provide additional support for the importance of monitoring obesity and physical activity in the clinical care of cancer survivors, and suggest that providers should be encouraging patients to be physically active and achieve or maintain a healthy weight after prostatectomy."

One author reported financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

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Rick Ansorge

Rick Ansorge

Updated on January 28, 2010

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