International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 725–729

Weight and urinary incontinence: the missing links

Clinical Opinion

DOI: 10.1007/s00192-013-2268-7

Cite this article as:
Wesnes, S.L. Int Urogynecol J (2014) 25: 725. doi:10.1007/s00192-013-2268-7


Excessive weight is an established and potent risk factor for urinary incontinence (UI) among women of all ages. Although few would doubt that weight plays a role in UI, there are still many uncertainties regarding weight as a risk factor. It must be clarified whether body mass index (BMI) is a better estimate than weight, waist circumference, or waist–hip ratio. It is not clear how the distribution of weight affects UI. Does being overweight due to heavy muscles, edema, or pregnancy lead to UI or only being overweight due to adiposity? It is unclear for how long a person's overweight must persist to lead to UI. We do not know whether weight is an appropriate measure of exposure or whether the association between weight and UI is confounded by socioeconomic status, diet, disease, or weight-related hormonal changes. This article summarizes knowledge gaps on the association between weight and UI.


Overweight Urinary incontinence 

Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Group for General Practice, Department of Global Public Health and Primary CareUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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