, Volume 21, Issue 7, pp 873-883
Date: 24 Feb 2010

Epidemiological aspects of urinary incontinence in a female population of an Italian region

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Introduction and hypothesis

The purpose of this study is to assess the incidence of female urinary incontinence (UI), risk factors, severity, and functional limitation using a cross-sectional survey in an Italian region.


The method employed in this study was a questionnaire-based interview on non-institutionalized women. Outcomes were the UI prevalence, severity, associated factors, and functional limitation (ICIQ score).


From October 2008 to February 2009, 1,346 women were interviewed and 15.3% were affected by UI. Univariate analysis found different risk factors, but multivariate analysis revealed only pelvic floor surgery, diabetes, vaginal deliveries, age, and educational level as significant. The involuntary loss of stools was more common in incontinent patients compared with healthy participants. The ICIQ values were significantly different between healthy and incontinent participants and a positive correlation existed with the estimated daily urine loss (r = 0.885, p < 0.001).


Symptoms of UI affected a substantial proportion of the population investigated. Pelvic floor surgery, diabetes, and vaginal deliveries are the most significant risk factors implicated.