Details of Publication 519 for Project A313:

Halland M, Koloski N, Jones M, et al. Modifiable risk factors associated with faecal incontinence in older community dwelling women. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2011; 26(Supp 4): 85-85

Objectives: Faecal incontinence (FI) is a common problem among women in aged care that has been associated with anatomic, physiologic and medical conditions. There are very little data on the risk factors associated with FI in older women still living independently in the community. We aimed to determine if there are any potentially modifi able risk factors associated with FI in a large cohort of older Australian women still living in the community.Methods: Participants were 4889 women (aged 82–87 years) who participated in the fifth survey of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. FI was defined as any leakage of liquid and/or solid stool over the past 12 months. Self-reported symptoms of urinary incontinence, asthma, constipation, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, heart problems, eye disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, anxiety and depression over the past 12 months were assessed. A lifetime history of prolapse repair and hysterectomy were also recorded. Lifestyle factors assessed included smoking (never, current, past), alcohol intake(nil, low and high risk), fruit and vegetable intake, body mass index and number of live births. Eight domains of quality of life (QOL) from the valid SF-36 were also assessed. Demographic factors included nationality and marital, educational and socioeconomic status.Results: The prevalence of FI was 25.2% (n = 1231). In a multiple regression model that included all variables, we found reporting urinary incontinence(OR = 2.78; 95%CI 2.28–3.39, P = 0.000), constipation (OR = 1.46; 95%CI 1.22–1.73, P = 0.000), not being a past smoker (OR = 0.64; 95%CI 0.43–0.94, P = 0.000), prolapse repair (OR = 1.62; 95%CI 1.03–2.54, P = 0.036), less serves of fruit (OR = 0.81; 95%CI 0.72–0.91, P =0.0001), and reduced functioning on the SF–36 subscales of general health (OR = 0.86;95%CI 0.82–0.89, P = 0.000) and role emotional (OR = 0.97; 95%CI 0.95–0.99, P = 0.004) were independently associated with reporting FI versus not reporting FI.Conclusions: FI is a common problem among older community dwelling women. Modifi able risk factors associated with FI in these women include smoking and fruit intake.