Pelvic floor disorders and health-related quality of life in older women: Results from the Women's Gynaecological Health study in Lieto, Finland

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2019 May-Jun:82:226-231. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2019.03.001. Epub 2019 Mar 2.


Objective: The aim of this study was to analyse the prevalence of pelvic floor disorders and to describe health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among older women. We also compared participants' HRQoL with the age-matched general female population and analysed factors associated with HRQoL.

Study design: This is a population-based study of a cohort of women born in 1948 and in 1950 (n = 143) which is also part of the Women's Gynaecological Health study in Lieto, Finland.

Methods: The data were collected by questionnaires which pertained to socio-demographics, health-related variables, pelvic floor disorders and HRQoL (15D). Linear model was conducted to estimate a model of factors that associated with HRQoL.

Results: The prevalence of urinary incontinence, faecal incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse was 50%, 13% and 12%, respectively. The overall HRQoL score of the study cohort is broadly similar to that of the agematched general Finnish female population (mean±SD15D scores 0.905±0.084 vs 0.912±0.077). Higher number of medications was the most important explanatory factor for lower HRQoL.

Conclusion: Urinary incontinence was common; however, the impact on HRQoL was minor. The overall HRQoL score of the study cohort was broadly similar to that of age-matched general female population. Women who used a higher number of medications had lower HRQoL compared to women who used fewer medications.

Keywords: Health-related quality of life; Older women; Pelvic floor disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Fecal Incontinence / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pelvic Floor Disorders / psychology*
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life*
  • Urinary Incontinence / epidemiology
  • Women's Health