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Lifetime risk of surgical management for pelvic organ prolapse or urinary incontinence

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The objective of our study was to estimate the age-specific incidence and lifetime risk of surgically managed pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and urinary incontinence (UI). Women aged 20 and older who underwent primary surgical management of POP or UI in 1993 were identified from the database of a health maintenance organization using ICD-9 codes and confirmed through chart abstraction. From a population of 147,719 women, 135 were identified who underwent prolapse surgery only, 82 incontinence only, and 34 surgery for both conditions. From the age-specific incidence, we estimated the lifetime risk of undergoing an operation by age 80 to be 11.8%. Our findings agree with a previous estimate that ∼11% of women will undergo surgery for POP or UI by age 80. POP and UI appear to be common problems, undoubtedly affecting an even larger proportion of the women than suggested by this high cumulative incidence of surgery.

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This study was supported by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development–National Institutes of Health grant no. K12 HD1264-07.

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Correspondence to M. F. Fialkow.

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Fialkow, M.F., Newton, K.M., Lentz, G.M. et al. Lifetime risk of surgical management for pelvic organ prolapse or urinary incontinence. Int Urogynecol J 19, 437–440 (2008).

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