New research published in BJU International indicates that women with urinary incontinence often have other chronic conditions. The findings have important implications for prevention and treatment.
In an analysis of data from the 2005-06 to 2011-12 US National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys on 3,800 women with urinary incontinence, only 11% of women had no other chronic conditions.
Four patterns of chronic conditions emerged with differences by urinary incontinence type and severity. Within three of the four clusters, the most prevalent chronic conditions linked with increased cardiovascular risk--such as hypertension and high cholesterol--were associated with increased urinary incontinence risk. Also, pulmonary disease--specifically asthma--affected all of the women in a single cluster.
"Our data provide new evidence of the relationship between chronic medical conditions and urinary incontinence burden in women. Specifically, identification of women with a low burden of incontinence and modifiable conditions--such as hypertension, high cholesterol, and asthma--may inform future prevention and treatment efforts," said lead author Dr. Alayne Markland, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.