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The prevalence of urinary incontinence

Review article
Authors I. Milsom
M. Gyhagen
Published in Climacteric
Volume 22
Issue 3
Pages 217-222
ISSN 1369-7137
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Pages 217-222
Language en
Keywords Urinary incontinence, prevalence, risk factors, epidemiology, incidence, population-based survey, quality-of-life, tract symptoms, overactive, bladder, risk-factors, vaginal delivery, cesarean-section, national, cohort, women, pregnancy
Subject categories Obstetrics and gynaecology, Urology and andrology


The reported prevalence of urinary incontinence (UI) among women varies widely in different studies due to the use of different definitions, the heterogenicity of different study populations, and population sampling procedures. Population studies from numerous countries have reported that the prevalence of UI ranged from approximately 5% to 70%, with most studies reporting a prevalence of any UI in the range of 25-45%. Prevalence figures increase with increasing age, and in women aged 70years more than 40% of the female population is affected. Prevalence rates are even higher in the elderly-elderly and amongst nursing home patients. There are only a few studies describing progression as well as remission of UI in the general population as well as in selected groups of the population. The mean annual incidence of UI has been reported to range from 1% to 9%, while estimates of remission are more varying, from 4% to 30%. The prevalence of UI is strongly related to the age of the woman and thus, due to the increase in mean life expectancy, the overall prevalence of UI in women is expected to increase in the future.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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