ANCHOR LEAD: MANY WOMEN ARE AT RISK FOR URINARY INCONTINENCE AS THEY AGE, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Urinary incontinence plagues many more women than anyone thought, a recent analysis from the Nurses Health Study concludes. Michelle Bellantoni, a geriatrics expert at Johns Hopkins, says the onus is on primary care doctors to make sure they ask women patients about the condition.
BELLANTONI: We ask if there are any symptoms. Until we know we can’t begin to intervene. If we feel that the cause is stress incontinence, we provide a behavioral plan that includes frequent toileting and also toileting before leaving the home. If the incontinence is related to significant bladder contractions there are medications that can improve the severity and the frequency. In many women there can be an improvement, and the first hurdle is to recognize that this is not a normal part of aging but one for which medical evaluation and treatment should be sought. :32
Bellantoni says urinary incontinence occurs more frequently as women age, but urine leakage is not normal at any age. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting