PEOPLE: Lifestyle and comorbidities as risk factors for pelvic organ prolapse-a systematic review and meta-analysis PEOPLE: PElvic Organ Prolapse Lifestyle comorbiditiEs

Int Urogynecol J. 2023 Sep;34(9):2007-2032. doi: 10.1007/s00192-023-05569-3. Epub 2023 May 31.


Introduction and hypothesis: The literature is scarce regarding the effects of comorbidities, clinical parameters, and lifestyle as risk factors for pelvic organ prolapse (POP). This study was performed to systematically review the literature related to body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, diabetes mellitus (DM), hypertension (HT), dyslipidemia, chronic constipation, smoking, chronic cough, occupation, and striae and varicose veins as determinants for POP.

Methods: Search terms in accordance with Medical Subject Headings were used in PubMed, Embase, LILACS, and the Cochrane Library. Clinical comparative studies between women with and without POP and containing demographic and/or clinical raw data related to lifestyle and/or comorbidities were included. The ROBINS-I (risk of bias in non-randomized studies of interventions) instrument was used. Fixed-effects and random-effects models were used for homogeneous and heterogeneous studies, respectively.

Results: Forty-three studies were included in the meta-analysis. BMI < 25 kg/m2 was found to be a protective factor for POP [OR 0.71 (0.51, 0.99); p = 0.04], and BMI > 30 kg/m2 was a risk factor for POP [OR 1.44 (1.37, 1.52); p < 0.00001]. Waist circumference (≥ 88 cm) was reported as a risk factor for POP [OR 1.80 (1.37, 2.38); p < 0.00001], along with HT [OR 1.18 (1.09, 1.27); p = 0.04], constipation [OR 1.77 (1.23, 2.54); p < 0.00001], occupation [OR 1.86 (1.21, 2.86); p < 0.00001], persistent cough [OR 1.52 (1.18, 1.94); p < 0.0001]), and varicose veins [OR 2.01 (1.50, 2.70); p = 0.12].

Conclusions: BMI < 25 kg/m2 is protective while BMI > 30 kg/m2 is a risk factor for POP. Large waist circumference, dyslipidemia, HT, constipation, occupation, persistent cough, and varicose veins are also determinants for POP.

Keywords: Comorbidity; Lifestyle factors; Pelvic organ prolapse.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Constipation / epidemiology
  • Constipation / etiology
  • Cough
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension*
  • Life Style
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse* / epidemiology
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse* / etiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Varicose Veins*