, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 179-185
Date: 12 Feb 2008

Prevalence of urinary incontinence in Korean women: results of a National Health Interview Survey

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We determined the prevalence and types of urinary incontinence (UI) in Korean women and analyzed their attitude toward treatment.


This national survey was conducted as part of the Korean National Health Interview Survey to evaluate the prevalence of UI in Korean women between April and June 2005. In 13,345 Korean households, 13,484 women aged 19 years or older were interviewed by census takers. The subjects were asked about the type of UI that they had experienced and their treatment. UI was classified as “stress,” “urge,” “mixed” (stress and urge), or “other.”


The overall prevalence of UI in the subjects was 24.4%. Of those women, 48.8% reported stress UI only; 7.7%, urge UI only; 41.6%, mixed UI; and 1.9%, other type of UI. The prevalence of UI increased with age. Only 12.6% of the women with UI had sought medical care, and only 0.8% had undergone surgery for UI. Self-reported depression was higher in women with UI than in those without that disorder, and UI was more prevalent in women who were married, unemployed, and undereducated. According to national population data estimated by weighted UI numbers, about 4.2 million Korean women aged 19 years or older have experienced UI.


The prevalence of UI among women aged 19 years or older in Korea was 24.4%, and stress UI was the most prevalent type. Many women with UI did not seek medical treatment for that condition.