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The epidemiology of urinary incontinence and it's influence on quality of life in Taiwanese middle-aged women§


  • Financial support: none.

  • None of the authors have any proprietary interests or conflicts of interest related to this submission.

  • §

    Heinz Koelbl led the peer- ;review process as the Associate Editor responsible for the paper.



To evaluate the prevalence and risk factors of urinary incontinence (UI) and its effects on quality of life in women aged between 35 and 64 years.


Data were obtained from the 2005 National Health Interview survey, in which 4,661 women aged between 35 and 64 years responded to questions concerning UI occurrence and health-related quality of life (HRQL), assessed using the Short Form 36, Taiwan version. Chi-square tests and multiple logistic regressions were applied to analyze comorbidity and risk factors of UI. Multivariable liner regression was used to evaluate the association between UI and HRQL.


The weighted UI prevalence in Taiwanese women aged 35–44, 45–54 years, and 55–64 years were 14.7%, 24.7%, and 32.4%, respectively. After adjustment, increased age, greater parity, higher BMI (body mass index), former HRT use, having a psychiatric disease, hyperlipidemia, and respiratory disease were identified as significant UI risk factors. Women with UI had significantly lower scores on all SF-36 dimensions. After adjusting for other factors, UI remained a significant predictor of all domains of SF-36 and was associated with reduced physical (by 2.31 points) and mental (by 2.76 points) component summary scores. From a mental health perspective, UI had a greater influence on HRQL than diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and chronic kidney disease.


The UI prevalence of Taiwanese women is high, and its negative effects on quality of life are greater than those of other major chronic conditions, but are often overlooked and seldom intervened. Neurourol. Urodynam. 32: 371–376, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.