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Risk factors for urinary, fecal, or double incontinence in women

Matthews, Catherine A.

Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology: October 2014 - Volume 26 - Issue 5 - p 393–397
doi: 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000094
UROGYNECOLOGY: Edited by Narender Bhatia
Editor's Choice

Purpose of review To review recent, significant contributions to the medical literature regarding the identification of factors which are associated with urinary, fecal, and double incontinence in women.

Recent findings Approximately one out of five women suffers from moderate to severe urinary incontinence, one out of 10 has fecal incontinence, and 2.5% have double incontinence of urine and stool. Obesity is primarily associated with urinary incontinence, whereas diabetes mellitus is a stronger risk factor for fecal incontinence. Double incontinence is primarily associated with advanced age, depression, and decompensating medical conditions that denote frailty.

Summary Knowledge regarding which clinical conditions and patient characteristics are strongly associated with each type of incontinence helps identify those patients who are at risk and aids in targeted screening and treatment programs.

Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

Correspondence to Catherine A. Matthews, MD, University of North Carolina, Campus Box 7570, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA. Tel: +1 919 966 4717; fax: +1 919 843 9952; e-mail:

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