Introduction and hypothesis: The objective was to determine the prevalence of urinary incontinence (UI) and factors associated in a sample of Brazilian middle-aged women.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted between September 2012 and June 2013 with 749 women. UI was defined as any complaint of involuntary loss of urine. The independent variables were sociodemographic data and health-related habits and problems. Statistical analysis was carried out using Chi-squared test and Poisson regression.
Results: The mean age was 52.5 (±4.4) years. The prevalence of UI was 23.6 %. Of these, 48 (6.4 %) had stress urinary incontinence, 59 (7.8 %) urinary urgency, and 70 (9.5 %) had mixed urinary incontinence. In the final statistical model, self-perception of health as fair/poor/very poor (PR: 1.90; 95 % CI, 1.45-2.49; P < 0.001), ≥1 vaginal deliveries (PR: 1.84; 95 % CI, 1.35-2.50; P < 0.001), higher body mass index (PR: 1.04; 95 % CI, 1.02-1.06; P = 0.001), vaginal dryness (PR: 1.60; 95 % CI, 1.23-2.08; P = 0.001), current or previous hormone therapy (PR: 1.38; 95 % CI, 1.06-1.81; P = 0.019), pre-/perimenopause (PR: 1.42; 95 % CI, 1.06-1.91; P = 0.021), and previous hysterectomy (PR: 1.41; 95 % CI, 1.03-1.92; P = 0.031) were associated with a greater prevalence of UI. Current or previous use of soy products to treat menopausal symptoms was associated with a lower prevalence of UI (PR: 0.43; 95 % CI, 0.24-0.78; P = 0.006).
Conclusions: Several factors are associated with UI in middle-aged Brazilian women. The results highlight the importance of carrying out interventions aimed at reducing modifiable factors.
Keywords: Atrophic vaginitis; Hormone replacement therapy; Hysterectomy; Menopause; Obesity; Phytoestrogens.