Over half of seniors plagued by incontinence, CDC says

June 25, 2014 by Steven Reinberg, Healthday Reporter
Over half of seniors plagued by incontinence: CDC
Older men and women prone to urinary and bladder problems, report finds.

(HealthDay)—More than 50 percent of older Americans struggle with incontinence, a new government report released Wednesday shows.

"We found that half the population experienced urinary leakage or accidental bowel leakage, and about 25 percent had moderate, severe or very severe urinary leakage. And about 8 percent had moderate, severe or very severe bowel leakage," said lead researcher Yelena Gorina, a statistician at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

One expert noted that the impact of incontinence is significant.

"Bladder and bowel incontinence is a highly prevalent disease that has emotional, , social and economic impacts in the daily life of our elderly population in the U.S.," said Dr. Farzeen Firoozi, a urologist at North Shore-LIJ Health System in Manhasset, N.Y.

Incontinence occurs when muscles are too weak or too active. If the muscles are weak, patients may have accidents. If muscles become too active, there may be a strong urge to go to the bathroom. There are other causes of incontinence, such as prostate problems and nerve damage.

Treatment depends on the type of problem and may include simple exercises, medicines, special devices or procedures or surgery.

Dr. Tomas Griebling, a professor of urology at the University of Kansas and a spokesman for the American Urology Association, said incontinence increases with age.

However, "incontinence should really not be considered either a normal or inevitable part of aging," he added.

Griebling noted that although the percentage of adults with incontinence has remained the same, as the population ages there will be more people with the problem.

According to the report, nearly 51 percent of people aged 65 and older living at home reported bladder and/or bowel incontinence. Bladder incontinence was reported by just under 44 percent and by just over 17 percent.

About 50 percent of women and 25 percent of men said they suffered from bladder incontinence. White women were almost twice as likely to have bladder incontinence compared with black women, the researchers noted.

For people getting , there was no significant difference in rates of incontinence by age, race and education. No matter where a patient lived, 45 percent of those getting care reported having difficulty with bladder and/or bowel control.

Women getting home were 1.7 times more likely to have bladder incontinence compared with men, the investigators found.

The CDC notes that there is a significant cost linked with incontinence. For example, in 2000 bladder incontinence cost adults an estimated $19.5 billion, and in 2010, the average cost for bowel was estimated at $4,100 per person.

The National Center for Health Statistics report was published in the June edition of the CDC's Vital and Health Statistics.

Explore further: Clinical review published in JAMA

More information: Visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine for more on incontinence.

Related Stories

Clinical review published in JAMA

June 6, 2014
Many women experience bothersome urine loss with laughing, coughing and sneezing (stress urinary incontinence) AND on their way to the bathroom (urge urinary incontinence). When women experience both types of urine leakage, ...

Specialized yoga program could help women with urinary incontinence

April 25, 2014
An ancient form of meditation and exercise could help women who suffer from urinary incontinence, according to a new study from UC San Francisco.

Urinary incontinence ups risk of depression in older women

March 28, 2014
(HealthDay)—Older women with urinary incontinence may be at increased risk for depression and work disability, according to research published in the April issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Proteins in urine could play important role in stress incontinence

June 18, 2014
Incontinence is the world's most common chronic condition. Around ten per cent of Austrians are affected by it. However the problem continues to be a taboo subject: two out of three sufferers do not talk about it, preventing ...

Dementia sufferers more likely to be diagnosed with urinary or fecal incontinence

August 27, 2013
Patients with a diagnosis of dementia have approximately three times the rate of diagnosis of urinary incontinence, and more than four times the rate of fecal incontinence, compared with those without a diagnosis of dementia, ...

Marathon runners may be at risk for incontinence

October 5, 2012
While many marathon runners may be preoccupied with shin splints, chafing and blisters come race day, one thing they may not consider is their bladder health.

Recommended for you

A large-scale 'germ trap' solution for hospitals

July 26, 2017
When an infectious airborne illness strikes, some hospitals use negative pressure rooms to isolate and treat patients. These rooms use ventilation controls to keep germ-filled air contained rather than letting it circulate ...

Male hepatitis B patients suffer worse liver ailments, regardless of lifestyle

July 25, 2017
Why men with hepatitis B remain more than twice as likely to develop severe liver disease than women remains a mystery, even after a study led by a recent Drexel University graduate took lifestyle choices and environments ...

Researchers report new system to study chronic hepatitis B

July 25, 2017
Scientists from Princeton University's Department of Molecular Biology have successfully tested a cell-culture system that will allow researchers to perform laboratory-based studies of long-term hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections. ...

Mind-body therapies immediately reduce unmanageable pain in hospital patients

July 25, 2017
Mindfulness training and hypnotic suggestion significantly reduced acute pain experienced by hospital patients, according to a new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Research examines lung cell turnover as risk factor and target for treatment of influenza pneumonia

July 24, 2017
Influenza is a recurring global health threat that, according to the World Health Organization, is responsible for as many as 500,000 deaths every year, most due to influenza pneumonia, or viral pneumonia. Infection with ...

Scientists propose novel therapy to lessen risk of obesity-linked disease

July 24, 2017
With obesity related illnesses a global pandemic, researchers propose in the Journal of Clinical Investigation using a blood thinner to target molecular drivers of chronic metabolic inflammation in people eating high-fat ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.