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Prevalence and severity of urinary incontinence in older African American and Caucasian women

Investigated the prevalence and severity of urinary incontinence in older African American women. Data are from the 1st wave of the Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old (AHEAD) study. A nationally representative sample (n=4,221) of noninstitutionalized adults 70 yrs of age and older was interviewed. African Americans (n=655) were oversampled to ensure that there would be enough minority respondents to compare findings across racial groups. A statistically significant relationship was found between race and urinary incontinence in the previous year: 23.02% of the Caucasian women reported incontinence, compared with 16.17% of the African American women. Other factors that appear to increase the likelihood of incontinence include education, age, functional impairment, sensory impairment, stroke, body mass, and reporting by a proxy. Race was not related to the severity (as measured by frequency) of urine loss among incontinent older women. This study identifies or confirms important risk factors for self-reported urinary incontinence in a national context, and suggests factors leading to protection from incontinence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved) (from the journal abstract)