Journal Article

Urinary incontinence and waist circumference in older women<sup>*</sup>

Maressa P. Krause, Steven M. Albert, Hassan M. Elsangedy, Kleverton Krinski, Fredric L. Goss and Sergio G. daSilva

in Age and Ageing

Published on behalf of British Geriatrics Society

Volume 39, issue 1, pages 69-73
Published in print January 2010 | ISSN: 0002-0729
Published online November 2009 | e-ISSN: 1468-2834 | DOI:
Urinary incontinence and waist circumference in older women*

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Objective: the study aims to determine the association between adiposity and fitness with urinary incontinence (UI) in older women.

Methods: a cross-sectional study was conducted in southern Brazil. A sample of 1,069 urban women, age 60+, was assessed for UI (in-person interview), adiposity (body mass index [BMI] and waist circumference [WC]) and fitness. Logistic regression models were developed to assess the association between UI and the independent variables—adiposity (BMI and WC) and fitness indicators. All models were adjusted for age, socioecomomic level, diabetes and hypertension.

Results: BMI and functional tests were not significantly associated with UI. WC was an independent and significant predictor. Relative to women in the lowest quartile of WC, odds ratios for UI were 1.98 for WC of 79–86 cm, 2.07 for WC of 86–94 cm and 2.24 for WC >94 cm (P = 0.03).

Conclusion: central adiposity, as indicated by large WC, increases the risk of UI. Intra-abdominal pressure and its effect on urethral structures may be responsible for this increased risk. Older women should be counselled on the risk of central obesity for UI.

Keywords: older women; functional fitness; adiposity; urinary incontinence; elderly

Journal Article.  3437 words. 

Subjects: Geriatric Medicine

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