Objective: To assess the risk factors for urinary incontinence among Taiwanese women. Materials and Methods: A sample of 4,549 women was selected using a multistage random sampling protocol. The women selected were interviewed face-to-face by well-trained interviewers. The usual risk factors, which included marital status, age, body mass index, menstrual status, alcohol intake, drug allergy, diabetes mellitus, hypertension and gynecologic events, were evaluated. The factors were assessed by frequency analysis and logistic regression analysis using a significance level of less than 0.05. Results: A total of 3,537 women were successfully interviewed, producing a response rate of 77.8% (3,735/4,549). The prevalence of urinary incontinence increased significantly with marriage (21.7%; 95% confidence interval, CI, 20.2-23.2), alcohol intake (24.9%; 95% CI, 19.3-30.5), drug allergy (24.5%; 95% CI, 19.9-29.2), diabetes mellitus (40.3%; 95% CI, 29.3-51.2), hypertension (30.1%; 95% CI, 23.8-36.4), body mass index (odds ratio, 1.05 per unit increase; 95% CI, 1.02-1.09) and a previous gynecologic operation (25.5%; 95% CI, 19.9-31.2). Age was also a risk factor for urinary incontinence (odds ratio, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.03-1.05), but there was no relationship between urinary incontinence and parity, route of delivery, smoking or menstrual status. Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of urinary incontinence among women who suffer from diabetes or hypertension, or who have undergone a gynecologic operation, in particular hysterectomy. From a public health viewpoint, it is important to promote better health education in order to improve understanding of urinary incontinence and its risk factors and to increase the awareness of the availability of mainstream treatments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology