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Familial Risk Of Urinary Incontinence In Women: Population Based Cross Sectional Study

Yngvild S Hannestad, Rolv Terje Lie, Guri Rortveit, Steinar Hunskaar

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Abstract Objective To determine whether there is an increased risk of urinary incontinence in daughters and sisters of incontinent women. Design Population based cross sectional study. Setting EPINCONT (the epidemiology of incontinence in the county of Nord-Trøndelag study), a substudy of HUNT 2 (the Norwegian Nord-Trøndelag health survey 2), 1995-7. Participants 6021 mothers, 7629 daughters, 332 granddaughters, and 2104 older sisters of 2426 sisters. Main outcome measures Adjusted relative risks for urinary incontinence. Results The daughters of mothers with urinary incontinence had an increased risk for urinary incontinence (1.3, 95% confidence interval 1.2 to 1.4; absolute risk 23.3%), stress incontinence (1.5, 1.3 to 1.8; 14.6%), mixed incontinence (1.6, 1.2 to 2.0; 8.3%), and urge incontinence (1.8, 0.8 to 3.9; 2.6%). If mothers had severe symptoms then their daughters were likely to have such symptoms (1.9, 1.3 to 3.0; 4.0%). The younger sisters of female siblings with urinary incontinence, stress incontinence, or mixed incontinence had increased relative risks of, respectively, 1.6 (1.3 to 1.9; absolute risk 29.6%), 1.8 (1.3 to 2.3; 18.3%), and 1.7 (1.1 to 2.8; 10.8%). Conclusion Women are more likely to develop urinary incontinence if their mother or older sisters are incontinent.