HRT Increases Urinary Incontinence Risk

Published Online: Sunday, June 1, 2003

New research has indicated that postmenopausal women taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) have a higher risk of developing urinary incontinence. Also, the longer the women in the study took the hormones, the more likely they were to become incontinent, according to findings presented at a recent meeting of the Ameri-can College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

In the study, researchers followed 1228 women with an average age of 66. The women were included because they had heart disease, and they had not experienced incontinence before the study. Of the total, 607 took estrogen/progestin combination therapy and 621 took a placebo for an average of 4 years. After 1 year of treatment, the women taking HRT were almost 2 times as likely to report weekly episodes of urge incontinence, and more than 3 times as likely to experience weekly occurrences of stress incontinence. After 4 years, the risk of recurring incontinence increased by >3-fold for urge incontinence and ~5-fold for stress incontinence.

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