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Prevalence and Severity of Urinary Incontinence in Elderly Mexican-American Women

Authors

  • David V. Espino MD,

    1. From the *Division of Community Geriatrics, Department of Family Practice, and Department of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TexasDepartment of Preventative and Community Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch—Galveston, Texas.
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  • Ray F. Palmer PhD,

    1. From the *Division of Community Geriatrics, Department of Family Practice, and Department of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TexasDepartment of Preventative and Community Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch—Galveston, Texas.
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  • Toni P. Miles MD, PhD,

    1. From the *Division of Community Geriatrics, Department of Family Practice, and Department of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TexasDepartment of Preventative and Community Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch—Galveston, Texas.
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  • Charles P. Mouton MD, MS,

    1. From the *Division of Community Geriatrics, Department of Family Practice, and Department of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TexasDepartment of Preventative and Community Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch—Galveston, Texas.
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  • Michael J. Lichtenstein MD, MSc,

    1. From the *Division of Community Geriatrics, Department of Family Practice, and Department of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TexasDepartment of Preventative and Community Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch—Galveston, Texas.
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  • Kyriakos P. Markides PhD

    1. From the *Division of Community Geriatrics, Department of Family Practice, and Department of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TexasDepartment of Preventative and Community Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch—Galveston, Texas.
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  • Work supported by National Institute on Aging Grant 1-R01-AG10939-04 (Mexican-American Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies in the Elderly).
    Presented at the American Geriatrics Society meeting in May 1995, Washington, DC.

Address correspondence to David V. Espino, MD, Division of Community Geriatrics, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, MC 7795, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229. E-mail: espino@uthscsa.edu

Abstract

Objectives: To measure prevalence and characteristics of urinary incontinence in older Mexican-American women.

Design: Cross-sectional analysis of a longitudinal survey of a representative sample of older Mexican Americans.

Setting: Five southwestern states in the United States.

Participants: A total of 1,589 Mexican-American women, aged 65 and older who were part of the Hispanic Established Population for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly.

Measurements: Self-reported psychosocial, demographic, and health variables; self-reported history of symptoms of urinary incontinence.

Results: Two hundred thirty-nine (15%) of the 1,589 Mexican-American women reported having urinary incontinence. Almost 33% reported urge incontinence symptoms, 10% reported stress incontinence symptoms, and 42% had symptoms suggestive of mixed incontinence. Thirty-five percent of subjects reported incontinence episodes with moderate to large amounts of urine loss, and 15% reported that their urinary symptoms kept them from engaging in social activities. Age and body mass index were risk factors for incontinence (P=.02 and P=.03, respectively).

Conclusion: This is the first community-based survey examining rates of urinary incontinence in Mexican-American women. The prevalence of urinary incontinence may be lower in older Mexican-American women than in the general population. They may also have a higher percentage of urge as opposed to stress incontinence symptoms and may suffer from moderate to large volumes of urine loss associated with their incontinence episodes.

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