International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 22, Issue 9, pp 1151–1157 | Cite as

Weight loss improves fecal incontinence severity in overweight and obese women with urinary incontinence

  • Alayne D. Markland
  • Holly E. Richter
  • Kathryn L. Burgio
  • Deborah L. Myers
  • Alexandra L. Hernandez
  • Leslee L. Subak
Original Article



To estimate the effect of weight loss on fecal incontinence (FI) severity among overweight and obese women with urinary incontinence, we analyzed data from women randomized to a weight loss intervention or control condition.


The modified Fecal Incontinence Severity Index (FISI) was administered at 6, 12, and 18 months in 338 women. Repeated measures analyses identified factors associated with improved FISI scores among women with baseline scores >0.


FISI scores improved in 45 (13%) across all time points among the 291 women (87%) completing the trial. Improved scores were associated with a one-point lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) score, p < 0.01. Improved liquid stool FI frequency was associated with ≥5 kg weight loss (p = 0.001), 10-g increase in fiber intake (p = 0.05), and decreased LUTS (p = 0.003).


FI severity improved with weight loss. Women with liquid stool FI losing at least 5 kg and/or increased dietary fiber intake had improved FI frequency.


Fecal incontinence Female Food frequency questionnaire Obesity Urinary incontinence Weight loss 


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Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alayne D. Markland
    • 1
  • Holly E. Richter
    • 2
  • Kathryn L. Burgio
    • 1
  • Deborah L. Myers
    • 3
  • Alexandra L. Hernandez
    • 4
  • Leslee L. Subak
    • 5
  1. 1.Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Department of Medicine, Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative CareUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Women’s Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive SurgeryUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  3. 3.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyAlpert Medical School at Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  4. 4.Departments of MedicineUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  5. 5.Departments of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, and UrologyUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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