The relationship between sarcopenia and urinary incontinence

  • Tugba ErdoganEmail author
  • Gulistan Bahat
  • Cihan Kilic
  • Pınar Kucukdagli
  • Meryem Merve Oren
  • Onur Erdogan
  • Mehmet Akif Karan
Research Paper

Key summary points


The purpose of this research was to investigate the relationship between urinary incontinence (stress and/or urgency) and sarcopenia in a large group of female older adults.


UI is independently associated with sarcopenia when muscle mass was adjusted by weight and also with presence of low muscle mass when muscle mass was adjusted by weight or BMI.


Evaluation of sarcopenia may have a role in the management of stress and urgency urinary incontinence.



Urinary incontinence (UI) is a common cause of morbidity in the female older adult. Identification of factors associated with UI is necessary to identify risky individuals, to take preventive measures, and to recognize commonly associated co-morbidities. We suggest that sarcopenia may be associated with UI through decrease in muscle mass/strength. In this study, we aimed to investigate the relationship between UI (stress and/or urgency) and sarcopenia.


Female older adults ≥ 60 years that applied to geriatric outpatient clinic were analyzed cross-sectionally. The presence of UI, UI types, fecal incontinence, and constipation was obtained. Functional status was assessed by basic and instrumental activities of daily living (ADL and IADL), nutrition by mini-nutritional assessment-short form (MNA-SF). Total muscle mass was measured by bioimpedance analysis. Hand grip strength and walking speed were assessed.


A total of 802 female adults were included. The prevalence of UI was 48.9%. Associated factors with presence of UI were higher age and BMI, presence of fecal incontinence, constipation, lower activities of ADL and IADL scores, lower grip strength, lower skeletal muscle mass adjusted by weight and BMI, and presence of sarcopenia adjusted by weight and BMI. Independent factors related with UI were presence of fecal incontinence, constipation, IADL dependency, low muscle mass adjusted by weight and body mass index, and sarcopenia adjusted by weight.


The results of our study suggest that UI is independently associated with sarcopenia when muscle mass was adjusted by weight and also with presence of low muscle mass when muscle mass was adjusted by weight or BMI.


Muscle mass Muscle strength Sarcopenia Urinary incontinence 




Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of Istanbul University ethic committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

41999_2019_232_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (103 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 103 kb)


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Copyright information

© European Geriatric Medicine Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Geriatrics, Department of Internal Medicine, Istanbul Medical SchoolIstanbul UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Public Health, Istanbul Medical SchoolIstanbul UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  3. 3.Department of CardiologyIstinye State HospitalIstanbulTurkey

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