Urinary Incontinence Common in Women, Men, Children

Establishing true prevalence will require standardized methods, researchers conclude

THURSDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Urinary incontinence (UI) is common -- more so in women than in men -- but exact prevalence is difficult to pinpoint due to variables in study methodology, definitions of UI, and populations studied, according to research published in the August issue of Urology.

Brian S. Buckley, M.D., of the National University of Ireland in Galway, and colleagues identified, collated, and reviewed the best available evidence on UI for the Fourth International Consultation on Incontinence.

The researchers found that most studies reported some UI in 25 to 45 percent of women; some UI in 7 to 37 percent of women aged 20 to 39 years; and daily UI in 9 to 39 percent of women more than 60 years old. Prevalence in men was reported to be roughly half of that in women and to be associated with surgery for prostate disease. UI was observed in 11 to 34 percent of older men, with daily UI reported in 2 to 11 percent. About 10 percent of 7-year-olds, 3 percent of 11- to 12-year-olds, and 1 percent of 16- to 17-year-olds experienced some nighttime leakage. The researchers concluded that UI is common, but accurate data on prevalence are difficult to establish because of differences between studies in terms of UI definitions, methodologies, and populations.

"Future epidemiologic studies should use standardized definitions and measurements of UI and standardized and validated instruments for self-report. Possible studies should report prevalence data in ways that are readily comparable with previous studies," the authors write.

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