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Weight Loss To Treat Urinary Incontinence In Overweight And Obese Women.

L. Subak, R. Wing, D. West, F. Franklin, E. Vittinghoff, J. Creasman, H. Richter, D. Myers, K. Burgio, A. Gorin, J. Macer, J. Kusek, D. Grady
Published 2009 · Medicine

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BACKGROUND Obesity is an established and modifiable risk factor for urinary incontinence, but conclusive evidence for a beneficial effect of weight loss on urinary incontinence is lacking. METHODS We randomly assigned 338 overweight and obese women with at least 10 urinary-incontinence episodes per week to an intensive 6-month weight-loss program that included diet, exercise, and behavior modification (226 patients) or to a structured education program (112 patients). RESULTS The mean (+/-SD) age of the participants was 53+/-11 years. The body-mass index (BMI) (the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters) and the weekly number of incontinence episodes as recorded in a 7-day diary of voiding were similar in the intervention group and the control group at baseline (BMI, 36+/-6 and 36+/-5, respectively; incontinence episodes, 24+/-18 and 24+/-16, respectively). The women in the intervention group had a mean weight loss of 8.0% (7.8 kg), as compared with 1.6% (1.5 kg) in the control group (P<0.001). After 6 months, the mean weekly number of incontinence episodes decreased by 47% in the intervention group, as compared with 28% in the control group (P=0.01). As compared with the control group, the intervention group had a greater decrease in the frequency of stress-incontinence episodes (P=0.02), but not of urge-incontinence episodes (P=0.14). A higher proportion of the intervention group than of the control group had a clinically relevant reduction of 70% or more in the frequency of all incontinence episodes (P<0.001), stress-incontinence episodes (P=0.009), and urge-incontinence episodes (P=0.04). CONCLUSIONS A 6-month behavioral intervention targeting weight loss reduced the frequency of self-reported urinary-incontinence episodes among overweight and obese women as compared with a control group. A decrease in urinary incontinence may be another benefit among the extensive health improvements associated with moderate weight reduction. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00091988.)
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