Prevalence and risk factors of urinary incontinence and its influence on the quality of life of Japanese women

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Urinary incontinence is a common problem as women age. The aims of this study were to assess the prevalence and risk factors of urinary incontinence and their impact on the quality of life of working Japanese women. In this cross-sectional study, 975 women completed the Urogenital Distress Inventory-6, the Short Form (SF)-36 Health Survey, and the King's Health Questionnaire. Their mean age was 47.6 years and the reported prevalence of stress, urge, and mixed urinary incontinence symptoms during the past month was 19.3%, 4.2%, and 7.8%, respectively. The prevalence rate of all the three types of incontinence increased with age and Body Mass Index. There was no significant difference in the questionnaire subscale scores of the SF-36 Health Survey and the King's Health Questionnaire between these types and those without urinary incontinence. However, in relation to the SF-36 scores, we found that urge urinary incontinence had more effect on women than stress urinary incontinence. There was a high prevalence of urinary incontinence in the participants. The results emphasize the need for women to be provided with education programs about incontinence and to perform preventive exercises.

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