Racial differences in urinary incontinence prevalence and associated bother: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis

Aelia Akbar, Kiang Liu, Erin D. Michos, Linda Brubaker, Talar Markossian, Michael P. Bancks, Holly Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Urinary incontinence is influenced by multiple factors, and the prevalence of urinary incontinence subtypes may differ by race and ethnicity. Objective: This study aimed to determine the prevalence of urinary incontinence subtypes and associated bother among women by race and ethnicity. Study Design: This cross-sectional analysis used data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, an observational cohort study of 4 racial and ethnic groups recruited from 6 communities from the United States. At the sixth follow-up examination, urinary symptoms were ascertained with the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire. The prevalence rate ratios of stress urinary incontinence, urgency urinary incontinence, and mixed urinary incontinence by race and ethnicity were calculated using generalized linear models for the binomial family while adjusting for covariates. The degree of bother was based on a scale of 0 (none) to 10 (greatest bother), and presence of any bother was defined as a score of ≥3. Results: Among the 1749 female participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis who completed the sixth follow-up examination, 1628 (93%) completed the questionnaire. Women who did not complete the questionnaire were older than those who completed the questionnaire (average age, 82.2 [standard deviation, 9.5] vs 73.7 [standard deviation, 8.4] years; P<.01) and more likely to use diuretics (29.8% vs 18.9%; P<.01). Among those who completed the questionnaire (n=1628), 39.4% were white, 12.5% were Chinese, 27.2% were black, and 20.9% were Hispanic. After adjusting for covariates, stress urinary incontinence (prevalence rate ratio, 0.47; 95% confidence interval, 0.25–0.86) and mixed urinary incontinence (prevalence rate ratio, 0.58; 95% confidence interval, 0.38–0.89) regardless of bother scores were significantly less prevalent among black vs white women, although no significant racial and ethnic differences in stress or mixed urinary incontinence prevalence were noted for Chinese or Hispanic women vs white women. No racial and ethnic differences in the prevalence of urgency urinary incontinence were noted after the adjustment for covariates. Most women with urinary incontinence reported bother scores of ≥3 regardless of race and ethnicity and urinary incontinence subtype, and bother scores did not differ significantly by race and ethnicity. Conclusion: Frequency of urinary incontinence subtypes may differ by race and ethnicity, but older women who report urinary incontinence are likely to have associated bother regardless of race and ethnicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80.e1-80.e9
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Volume224
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • aging
  • bother
  • incontinence
  • mixed urinary incontinence
  • stress urinary incontinence
  • urgency urinary incontinence
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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