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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2000 Sep;183(3):568-74.

Five-year incidence and remission rates of female urinary incontinence in a Swedish population less than 65 years old.

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  • 1Family Medicine Section, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, University Hospital, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.



We sought to determine the incidence and remission rates of urinary incontinence in a population-based sample of women.


A total of 382 (87.6%) of 436 eligible women aged 20 to 59 years answered a questionnaire and underwent a gynecologic examination at baseline and were followed up approximately 5 years later.


Urinary incontinence was present in 23.6% of women at baseline and in 27.5% at follow-up. The mean annual incidence rate of incontinence was 2.9%, and the mean annual incidence rate of incontinence weekly or more often was 0.5%. Women that were receiving estrogen at baseline were more likely than other women to have incontinence during follow-up. The mean annual remission rate among the 90 women who were incontinent at baseline was 5.9%. The annual net increase of incontinence in the study population was 0. 82%.


Female urinary incontinence seems to be a dynamic condition with a relatively high rate of spontaneous remission, a fact of which physicians should be aware when assessing and planning prevention and treatment strategies.

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