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Urinary incontinence between 12 and 24 months postpartum: a cross-sectional study nested in a Brazilian cohort from two cities with different socioeconomic characteristics

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Introduction and hypothesis

We aimed to identify the prevalence of urinary incontinence (UI) during the postpartum period (12–24 months) in two cities with different socioeconomic indicators in Brazil (Ribeirão Preto, SP, and São Luís, MA) and to determine associated risk factors.


A cross-sectional study nested in the Brazilian Ribeirão Preto and São Luís Birth Cohort Studies (BRISA) cohort was conducted in two Brazilian municipalities (Ribeirão Preto, and São Luís). A total of 13,214 women delivered in both cities (2010–2011). We interviewed 3,751 postpartum women in Ribeirão Preto and 3275 in São Luís (2011–2013). Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to assess factors associated with postpartum UI for each municipality.


The prevalence of self-reported UI at 12–24 months postpartum was 16.3% (611 out of 3,751) in Ribeirão Preto and 11.4% (375 out of 3,275) in São Luís (p < 0.001). The univariate analysis performed at Ribeirão Preto showed that women who were obese, who had diabetes or gestational diabetes and who presented with excessive weight gain during gestation presented an association with postpartum UI. However, only weight gain during pregnancy remained strongly associated with UI on multivariate analysis (p = 0.009; OR 1.041 [1.010–1.073]). On the other hand, in São Luís, no risk factors were associated with postpartum UI at univariate and multivariate analysis.


The prevalence of UI was higher in Ribeirão Preto (higher socioeconomic level) than in São Luís. Weight gain during pregnancy was statistically associated with UI in Ribeirão Preto. No independent variables remained associated in the final model with UI in São Luís.

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The authors thank to all interviewers from the BRISA cohort study for their assistance in recruiting the participants.


National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), São Paulo State Research Foundation (FAPESP) process no. 08/53593-0 and Maranhão Research Foundation (FAPEMA).

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Correspondence to Luiz Gustavo Oliveira Brito.

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Magnani, P.S., Bettiol, H., da Silva, A.A.M. et al. Urinary incontinence between 12 and 24 months postpartum: a cross-sectional study nested in a Brazilian cohort from two cities with different socioeconomic characteristics. Int Urogynecol J 30, 1003–1011 (2019).

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