Risk of UI Higher in Patients with Diabetes

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According to a new report in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (November 2005), women with type 2 diabetes face an increased risk of urinary urge incontinence (UI). The authors suggest that, "because many studies have shown that women often do not mention their [UI] to physicians, medical evaluation of patients with diabetes might include screening for [UI], along with discussion of diagnostic and treatment options."

Researchers at Harvard Medical School used data from the Nurses' Health Study to compare the risk of UI in women with type 2 diabetes with that of women without the disease. Between 1996 and 2000, the rate of UI was 10.5% in women with diabetes and 7% in women without it. Longer duration of diabetes increased the risk of UI—women who had diabetes for >10 years had nearly a 50% greater risk of developing UI.

After age as a contributing factor was accounted for, women with diabetes had a 28% greater risk of being incontinent, and a 21% greater risk of developing UI, than women without diabetes. The results were similar after excluding other risk factors, such as obesity, history of stroke, and smoking.