Urinary incontinence and chronic conditions in the US population age 50 years and older

Int Urogynecol J. 2020 May;31(5):1013-1020. doi: 10.1007/s00192-019-04137-y. Epub 2020 Jan 3.


Introduction and hypothesis: Urinary incontinence is common among older adults with chronic conditions. The purpose of this study is to examine the association of urinary incontinence with chronic conditions in the US population.

Methods: We used data from the 2001-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; 7226 women and 7239 men age > 50 years answered questions regarding urinary symptoms. The analysis accounted for the complex survey design, and prevalence reflects estimates within the non-institutionalized US population.

Results: The mean age was 64.2 years [standard error (SE) 0.2] among women and 62.9 (SE 0.1) years among men. Bothersome stress, urgency and mixed incontinence were reported by 6.7% (SE 0.4), 4.8% (SE 0.4) and 19.3% (SE 0.59) of women, respectively, and 0.6% (SE 0.1), 3.5% (SE 0.2) and 1.9% (SE 0.2) of men, respectively. Among chronic conditions, heart failure was associated with higher prevalence of mixed incontinence in women and urgency incontinence in men. Among women, heart failure was associated with significantly increased odds of bothersome mixed incontinence (OR 2.35; 95% CI 1.62, 3.42) and lower odds of stress (OR 0.50; 95% CI 0.3, 0.9) or urgency incontinence (OR 0.43; 95% CI 0.19, 0.98) after adjustment for covariates. Among men, heart failure was associated with higher odds of stress (OR 1.99; 95% CI 0.39, 10.22), urgency (1.65; 95% CI 0.91, 2.99) and mixed incontinence (OR 1.54; 95% CI 0.91, 2.62) but associations were not statistically significant.

Conclusions: Heart failure is associated with higher odds of bothersome incontinence, especially among women.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Heart failure; Population health; Urinary incontinence.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Prevalence
  • Urinary Incontinence* / epidemiology
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress* / epidemiology
  • Urinary Incontinence, Urge