Skip to main content

Body mass index and adult female urinary incontinence

Summary

The aim of the present investigation was to study the possible role of obesity in the etiology of adult female urinary incontinence (UI). A random population sample of 3,114 women aged 30–59 years were mailed a questionnaire concerning UI and, among other things, body weight and height. The overall rate of response was 85%, and the present analysis comprises 2,589 women who supplied information about their body weight and height. The period prevalence of all UI, stress UI, urge UI, and mixed stress and urge UI was 17%, 15%, 9%, and 7%, respectively. The mean body mass index (BMI) was 22.7 kg/m2. Irrespective of other risk indicators, BMI was positively associated with UI prevalence (OR, 1.07/BMI unit; P<0.0001). BMI interacted with childbirth in predicting stress UI prevalence, with cystitis in predicting urge UI, and with both in predicting mixed UI. Stress UI proved to be the UI type most closely associated with BMI.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Armitage P, Berry G (1988) Statistical methods in medical research. Blackwell, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  2. Burgio KL, Matthews KA, Engel BT (1991) Prevalence, incidence and correlates of urinary incontinence in healthy, middle-aged women. J Urol 146:1255–1259

    Google Scholar 

  3. Diokno AC, Brock BMB, Herzog AR, Bromberg J (1990) Medical correlates of urinary incontinence in the elderly. Urology 36:129–138

    Google Scholar 

  4. Dwyer PL, Lee ET, Hay DM (1988) Obesity and urinary incontinence in women. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 95:91–96

    Google Scholar 

  5. Elving LB, Foldspang A, Lam GW, Mommsen S (1989) Descriptive epidemiology of urinary incontinence in 3,100 women aged 30–59. Scand J Urol Nephrol 21 [Suppl 125]: 37–43

    Google Scholar 

  6. Foldspang A, Mommsen S, Elving LB, Lam GW (1992) Parity as a correlate of adult female urinary incontinence prevalence. J Epidemiol Community Health 46:595–600

    Google Scholar 

  7. Gulliford MC, Rona RJ, Chinn S (1992) Trends in body mass index in young adults in England and Scotland from 1973 to 1988. J Epidemiol Community Health 46:187–190

    Google Scholar 

  8. Heitmann BL (1992) Obesity and the distribution of adipose tissue in adult Danes aged 35–65 (in Danish). Ugeskr Læger 154:1252–1257

    Google Scholar 

  9. Herzog AR, Fultz NH (1990) Prevalence and incidence of urinary incontinence in community-dwelling populations. J Am Geriatr Soc 38:273–281

    Google Scholar 

  10. Kleinbaum DG, Kupper LL, Morgenstern H (1982) Epidemiologic research. Principles and quantitative methods. Lifetime Learning, London

    Google Scholar 

  11. Kölbl H, Riss P (1988) Obesity and stress urinary incontinence: significance of indices of relative weight. Urol Int 43:7–10

    Google Scholar 

  12. Mohide EA (1988) The prevalence and scope of urinary incontinence. Clin Geriatr Med 2:639–655

    Google Scholar 

  13. Mommsen S, Foldspang A, Elving LB, Lam GW (1993) Association between urinary incontinence in women and a previous history of surgery. Br J Urol 72:30–37

    Google Scholar 

  14. Mommsen S, Foldspang A, Elving L, Lam GW (in press) Cystitis as a correlate of prevalent female urinary incontinence. Int Urogynecol J

  15. Remis RS, Gurwith MJ, Gurwith D, Hargrett-Bean NT, Layde PM (1987) Risk factors for urinary tract infection. Am J Epidemiol 126:685–694

    Google Scholar 

  16. Snooks SJ, Setchell M, Swash M, et al. (1984) Injury to innervation of pelvic floor sphincter musculature in childbirth. Lancet II:546–550

    Google Scholar 

  17. Snooks SJ, Swash M, Mathers SE, et al. (1990) Effects of vaginal delivery on the pelvic floor: a 5-year follow-up. Br J Surg 77:1359–1360

    Google Scholar 

  18. Swash M, Snooks SJ, Henry MM, et al. (1985) Unifying concept of pelvic floor disorders and incontinence. J R Soc Med 78:906–911

    Google Scholar 

  19. Vellas B, Seduilh M, Albarede JL (1989) Urinary incontinence: epidemiological considerations. Dan Med Bull 36 [Suppl 8]:5–9

    Google Scholar 

  20. Yarnell JWG, Voyle GJ, Sweetnam PM, Milbank J, Richards CJ, Stephenson TP (1982) Factors associated with urinary incontinence in women. J Epidemiol Community Health 36:58–63

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Mommsen, S., Foldspang, A. Body mass index and adult female urinary incontinence. World J Urol 12, 319–322 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00184112

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00184112

Keywords

  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Obesity
  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Population Sample