A survey on urinary incontinence among middle aged and older people

Takehiro Michikawa, Yuji Nishiwaki, Yuriko Kikuchi, Makiko Nakano, Megumu Takamizawa, Mieko Koike, Noriko Kikuchi, Yumi Mukoyami, Akemi Nakazawa, Yoshio Nishigaki, Toru Takebayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: Studies in Western countries have revealed that urinary incontinence, non-intentional loss of urine, is a common condition in aged populations, and even younger individuals may suffer from urinary incontinence. However, in Japan, the evidence for community residents on this topic is limited. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of urinary incontinence among middle aged using a structured questionnaire and older people and to provide useful information including frequency, voided volume, relation to parity as a risk factor and persons to consult for this condition. METHODS: The study subjects consisted of 985 residents, 350 males (mean age 62.5 +/- 11.2 years)and 635 females (64.3 +/- 11.4), who participated in annual health check-ups and answered a self-reported questionnaire on urinary incontinence. The questionnaire included questions on frequency, voided volume, condition-specific QOL score, self-diagnostic item (above four from Scored International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire-Short Form Japanese version), person to consult for this condition and parity (only for females). RESULTS: The proportion of those with urinary incontinence was 11.4% in males and 34.5% in females, and the proportion increased with age (P for trend <0.01). In females, the proportion was high, even in their forties (30.4%). In this study, parity was associated with urinary incontinence: compared to females with no childbirth experience, those giving birth to 4 or more children showed an odds ratio of 4.26 (95% CI: 1.13-16.10). In females, an increase in frequency of urinary incontinence negatively affected the QOL. When asked who they would consult, the majority of males answered either a medical institution (54.2%) or family (34.0%). In females, 39.6% reported a medical institution, 22.6% reported family, 16.5% reported no one, 10.6% reported health nurses other than in medical institutions and 9.5% reported friends. CONCLUSIONS: The study results showed that urinary incontinence is a common condition in this population. Particularly, a large proportion of females suffer from this condition, even in their forties. The study also revealed that urinary incontinence might negatively affect the QOL and that there are some individuals who do not consult (or intend to consult) anyone about their problem. This information might be useful for planning health policy on the topic in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-455
Number of pages7
Journal[Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jul

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'A survey on urinary incontinence among middle aged and older people'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this