[Urinary incontinence due to chronic cough in interstitial lung disease]

Rev Mal Respir. 2009 May;26(5):499-504. doi: 10.1016/s0761-8425(09)74668-6.
[Article in French]


Introduction: Urinary stress incontinence affects 10% to 30% of the female population and may have a major impact on psychosocial health. In interstitial lung disease, chronic cough may lead to development of urinary incontinence, but the prevalence and impact of this symptom are unknown.

Objectives: To determine the rate and impact of urinary stress incontinence among women with chronic cough due to interstitial lung disease.

Methods: 28 female patients with chronic cough secondary to interstitial lung disease and 15 controls were evaluated by questionnaires to determine the prevalence of cough-related urinary incontinence, its severity, and its impact on quality of life.

Results: Cough-related urinary incontinence was present in 14/28 patients with interstitial lung disease and chronic cough (50%), but in only 1/15 controls (7%, p=0.005). On a 5-points quality of life scale, the median impact of urinary incontinence was 3 (minimum=1, maximal=5), and the median impact of chronic cough was 3.5. The majority of patients (64%) believed that incontinence was a natural phenomenon due to ageing, all were ashamed by this symptom and 79% were unable to mention it to their caring physician. Only one physician had previously addressed this issue.

Conclusion: Cough-related urinary incontinence is common in patients with interstitial lung disease and is largely overlooked. It may significantly alter quality of life. A systematic questioning by the physician would allow to promptly refer these patients for appropriate therapeutic interventions, such as perineal training.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cough / complications*
  • Cough / diagnosis
  • Cough / epidemiology
  • Cough / etiology
  • Cough / therapy
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / complications*
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / diagnosis
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / epidemiology
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / diagnosis
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / epidemiology
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / etiology*
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / therapy