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Non-surgical Treatments for Urinary Incontinence in Adult Women: Diagnosis and Comparative Effectiveness

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The Burden of Urinary Incontinence

UI (the involuntary leakage of urine) affects women of all ages, but its prevalence increases with age. Twenty-five percent of younger women, 44 to 57 percent of women at middle-age or postmenopause, and 75 percent of older women in nursing homes have UI in some form.

UI presents physical, psychological, and social burdens that can range from mildly bothersome to debilitating. An example is the fact that 6 percent of nursing home admissions of women are directly attributable to UI management. The costs of UI care averaged $19.5 billion in 2004.