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Prevalence Rate Of Urinary Incontinence In Community-dwelling Elderly Individuals: The Veneto Study.

S. Maggi, N. Minicuci, J. Langlois, M. Pavan, G. Enzi, G. Crepaldi
Published 2001 · Medicine

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BACKGROUND Urinary incontinence (UI) is a common problem in elderly people, due mainly to functional impairments and concurrent medical diseases. Few studies, however, have assessed the prevalence of UI in noninstitutionalized individuals. The objectives of the present work were to estimate the prevalence of UI in a community-based population of elderly Italians and to determine the associated physical, social, and psychological factors. METHODS A random sample of noninstitutionalized men (n = 867) and women (n = 1531), aged 65 years and older, from the Veneto region of northeastern Italy, were interviewed at home, using an extensive multidisciplinary questionnaire, to assess their quality of life and social, biological, and psychological correlates. RESULTS The prevalence rate of UI was of 11.2% among men and of 21.6% among women. Among those reporting the condition, approximately 53% of women and 59% of men reported experiencing incontinence daily or weekly. Association of UI was found for participants older than 70 years in both men (odds ratio [OR] 2.49, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.45-4.28) and women (OR 1.49, 95% CI 1.11-2.02). Three of the medical conditions investigated were associated with increases in the odds in women, namely chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.11-2.12), Parkinsonism (OR 2.27, 95% CI 1.14-4.54), and hip fracture (OR 1.38,95% CI 1.02-1.88), whereas chronic diarrhea was the only condition associated with UI in men (OR 6.92, 95% CI 2.22-21.5). Participants with a physical disability were two times more likely to report incontinence, and the odds were increased by 50% in women who had sleep disturbances. CONCLUSIONS Incontinence is highly prevalent in the Italian elderly population, and several common chronic conditions are significantly associated with it. Moreover, very few people with incontinence seek health care or are aware of potential treatments.
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