The prevalence of urinary incontinence in community-dwelling married women: a matter of definition.
until further notice
SourceBJU International, 94, 9, (2004), pp. 1291-1295
Article / Letter to editor
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Epidemiology, Biostatistics & HTA
SubjectEBP 1: Determinants in Health and Disease; UMCN 1.5: Interventional oncology; UMCN 3.1: Neuromuscular development and genetic disorders
OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of female urinary incontinence (UI) and its impact on quality of life. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: In a Dutch national postal questionnaire survey, 1460 spouses of 1771 men in the town of Boxmeer, age-stratified and randomly selected, were asked to participate. The prevalence of UI in the women was assessed in two ways. First, a total score on a short UI-specific questionnaire differentiated them into three groups, i.e. no symptoms (score 0-2), minimally (3-6) or severely incontinent (7-14). Second, a self-reported UI prevalence was calculated by asking respondents if they ever had urine loss. To conform to the International Continence Society standard definition, spouses were also asked to complete a general (Short Form-12) and lower urinary tract disease-specific quality-of-life questionnaire, and were asked about their need to seek help. RESULTS: The questionnaires were returned by 1071 women (mean age 57 years, range 29-79; response rate 73%); 34% were regarded as minimally and 12% as severely incontinent. The self-reported UI rate was 40%. Disease-specific and general quality of life was significantly lower for women with UI than for those with minimal or no urine loss; 38% of incontinent respondents had consulted a physician for their UI, and among respondents with minimal complaints this was 28%. CONCLUSIONS: Up to 46% of the married female population had some degree of UI, and severe UI significantly compromised their quality of life.
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