Only one third of American women having urinary incontinence seek care


Urinary incontinence is extremely prevalent among American women 40 years and older, yet less than one third seek care, and even fewer are seen by pelvic floor specialists, according to a study presented here at the American Urogynecologic Society (AUGS) 32nd Annual Scientific Meeting.

“Little is known about the early stages of urinary incontinence and about its true prevalence,” Vatche Minassian, MD, MPH, from Geisinger Health Systems, Danville, Pennsylvania, told AUGS delegates. “Most of what we know is based on the tip of the iceberg — those relatively few women who seek care.”

Of the 7772 women who received the bladder health survey, 3221 (41.4%) responded; of these, 1326 (41.2%) reported having urinary incontinence. About one quarter of the women (n = 344; 26%) reported urinary incontinence for 2 years or less; 353 (27%) reported urinary incontinence for 2 to 4 years, and 577 (24%) reported urinary incontinence for 5 or more years.

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