Details of Publication 115 for Project W027:

Miller YD, Brown WJ, Chiarelli P & Russell A. Urinary incontinence across the lifespan. Neurourology and Urodynamics, 2003; 22: 550-557

The objectives of the current study were (1) to measure type and severity of urinary leakage and (2) to investigate the association between these factors and age-related life events and conditions in three groups of Australian women with a history of urinary leakage. Five-hundred participants were randomly selected from women in the young (aged 18-22 in 1996), mid-age (aged 45-50) and older (70-75) cohorts of the Australian Longitudinal Study of Women’s Health (ALSWH) who had reported leaking urine in the 1996 baseline survey. Details about leaking urine (frequency, severity, situations) and associated factors (pregnancy, childbirth, Body Mass Index) were sought through self-report mailed follow-up surveys in 1999. Response rates were 50%, 83%, and 80% in the young, mid-age and older women respectively. Most women confirmed that they had leaked urine in the last month, and the majority of these were cases of ‘mixed’ incontinence. Incontinence severity tended to increase with BMI for women of all ages, and increased severity scores were associated with having urine that burns or stings. Additional independent risk factors for increasing incontinence severity were heavy smoking in young women, past or present use of hormone replacement therapy in older women, and BMI and history of hysterectomy in mid-age women.