The Prevalence of Urinary Incontinence Among Community Dwelling Men
Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
Published in: The Journal of Urology, v. 176, no. 5, Nov. 2006, p. 2103-2108
Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2005
PURPOSE: To measure the prevalence of urinary incontinence in community dwelling men in the United States, the authors analyzed data from respondents to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. MATERIALS AND METHODS: From 1999 to 2000 the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey asked a national sample of community dwelling men, In the past 12 months, have you had difficulty controlling your bladder, including leaking small amounts of urine when you cough or sneeze? Questionnaire results were recorded and analyzed with respect to demographic data, and compared to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data in women. RESULTS: The overall prevalence of urinary incontinence in men was 17%. Prevalence increased with age from 11% in men 60 to 64 years old to 31% in men 85 years old or older. Of the men reporting any incontinence 42% reported daily incontinence and 24% reported it weekly. Black men had the highest prevalence of male incontinence (21%) and black women had the lowest prevalence of female incontinence (20%). While the prevalence of incontinence in black women was virtually the same as that in black men, the prevalence of incontinence in white and Mexican-American women was at least 2.5 times that of men of the same ethnicity. CONCLUSIONS: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey draws a nationally representative sample of subjects from the community and, thus, provides prevalence data for urinary incontinence for all men in the United States. Ethnicity appears to be a contributing risk factor for incontinence, although racial patterns clearly differ between men and women.