Urinary Incontinence Common in Women Over 50 Years

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Only one-third of women (34%) reported talking to their doctor about urinary leakage.
Only one-third of women (34%) reported talking to their doctor about urinary leakage.

HealthDay News — Nearly half of women older than 50 years report having urinary incontinence, according to the results of the National Poll on Healthy Aging, published on Nov. 1.

The University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation conducted the poll of 1027 women aged 50 to 80 years; the poll was sponsored by AARP and Michigan Medicine.

The poll showed that nearly half of older women (46%) reported urinary incontinence in the previous year (43% aged 50 to 64 years and 51% aged 65 to 80 years). Four in 10 (41%) described their leakage as either a major problem or somewhat of a problem, with nearly one-third (31%) having almost daily leakage, especially when coughing/sneezing (79%), trying to get to a bathroom (64%), laughing (49%), and exercising (37%). Nearly 60% of women with urinary incontinence reported using pads or protective undergarments, while 16% reported limiting fluid intake. Only one-third of women (34%) reported talking to their doctor about urinary leakage.

"Urinary incontinence is a common condition that may not be routinely screened for in primary care, yet it can impact a woman's quality of life and health, and is usually treatable," Carolyn Swenson, MD, a urogynecologist at Michigan Medicine who was involved in the survey, said in a statement. "It's not an inevitable part of aging and shouldn't be overlooked."

National Poll on Healthy Aging

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