Prevalence of urinary incontinence in men, women, and children--current evidence: findings of the Fourth International Consultation on Incontinence

Urology. 2010 Aug;76(2):265-70. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2009.11.078. Epub 2010 Jun 11.


Objectives: To summarize existing evidence relating to the prevalence and risk factors of urinary incontinence in order to provide a concise reference source for clinicians, health researchers, and service planners.

Methods: For the Fourth International Consultation on Incontinence (4th ICI) world experts identified, collated, and reviewed the best available evidence. Estimates of prevalence from different studies are presented as ranges.

Results: Most studies report some degree of urinary incontinence (UI) in 25-45% of women; 7-37% of women aged 20-39 report some UI; "daily UI" is reported by 9% to 39% of women over 60. Pregnancy, childbirth, diabetes and increased body mass index are associated with an increased risk of UI. Prevalence of UI in men approximately half that in women: UI is seen in 11-34% of older men, with 2-11% reporting daily UI. Surgery for prostate disease is associated with an increased risk. Some 10% of children aged seven, 3% of 11-12 years olds and 1% of 16-17 year olds are not dry at night.

Conclusions: UI is clearly common, but accurate prevalence data have proven difficult to establish because of heterogeneity between studies in terms of methodologies, definitions of UI and populations considered. Future research should use standardized, validated and more readily comparable methods.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Congresses as Topic*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Urinary Incontinence / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult