Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Urol. 2010 Oct;184(4):1402-7. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2010.06.014. Epub 2010 Aug 19.

Women with diabetes: understanding urinary incontinence and help seeking behavior.

Author information

  • 1Women's Health Clinical Research Center, University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, California 94115, USA.



We examined the association of urinary incontinence with diabetes status and race, and evaluated beliefs about help seeking for incontinence in a population based cohort of women with vs without diabetes.


We performed a cross-sectional analysis of 2,270 middle-aged and older racially/ethnically diverse women in the Diabetes Reproductive Risk factors for Incontinence Study at Kaiser. Incontinence, help seeking behavior and beliefs were assessed by self-report questionnaires and in-person interviews. We compared incontinence characteristics in women with and without diabetes using univariate analysis and multivariate models.


Women with diabetes reported weekly incontinence significantly more than women without diabetes (weekly 35.4% vs 25.7%, p <0.001). Race prevalence patterns were similar in women with and without diabetes with the most vs the least prevalence of incontinence in white and Latina vs black and Asian women. Of women with diabetes 42.2% discussed incontinence with a physician vs 55.5% without diabetes (p <0.003). Women with diabetes were more likely than those without diabetes to report the belief that incontinence is rare (17% vs 6%, p <0.001).


Incontinence is highly prevalent in women with diabetes. Race prevalence patterns are similar in those with and without diabetes. Understanding help seeking behavior is important to ensure appropriate patient care. Physicians should be alert for urinary incontinence since it is often unrecognized and, thus, under treated in women with diabetes.

Copyright © 2010 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk