- Urinary incontinence adversely affects their mental, physical and social well-being, according to a new study by
- Study appears in June issue of Quality of
- People 65 and over who suffer from urinary incontinence are encouraged to consult with their doctors to learn more about their treatment options
The research appears in the June issue of Quality of
The study, “The Prevalence of Urinary Incontinence and its Burden on the Quality of Life among Older Adults with
Of the more than 5,000 respondents, more than 35 percent reported having urinary incontinence and, according to the study findings, the condition had a significant impact on their well-being and quality of life. The surveys helped to quantify respondents’ average physical component scores and mental component scores, measures commonly used to evaluate health-related quality of life. As a result, researchers found that urinary incontinence had a stronger influence on quality of life than did diabetes, arthritis and some forms of cancer, particularly from a mental health standpoint.
The study also found that women and obese individuals are at greater risk of urinary incontinence and suggested that as baby boomers age, additional research is needed to determine which forms of incontinence are most responsive to prevention, early detection and treatment opportunities.
Left untreated, urinary incontinence may become more problematic over time, increasing in severity. Symptoms depend on the type of urinary incontinence, but can include a very strong urge to urinate, involuntary urination and unexpected leakage.
“Urinary incontinence is generally thought of as a physical disability. It is clear from this study, however, that urinary incontinence affects quality of life mentally and socially, as well as physically,” said Dr.
“We have learned from this study that there are more ways we can help patients who suffer from urinary incontinence, as according to the data, only about half of those with urinary incontinence said they have spoken to their doctor about the problem, and only about one in three of them have received treatment for it,” said Dr.
This is the first in a series of research studies from the Health Care Transformation Diversity Initiative, which was created to evaluate the presence and nature of disparities in health care in
Data for this study were obtained from the
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