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J Med Invest. 2005 Aug;52(3-4):165-71.

Relationship between the type of urinary incontinence and falls among frail elderly women in Japan.

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Department of Rehabilitation, Shinjuen Hospital, 3453-1, Yagihara, Seihi, Saikai, Nagasaki 851-3423, Japan.


Urinary incontinence and falls are serious problem among elderly people, because of restriction of the Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and Quality of Life. Previous studies have examined the association between urinary incontinence and falls. However, results have been inconsistent. In Japan, with the rapid aging of the society, the number of elderly women who have urinary incontinence and are at risk of falling is increasing. We investigated the relationship between type of urinary incontinence and risk of falls among elderly users of day-care services in a long-term care system. Our study population comprised 118 ambulatory women. At baseline, we evaluated incontinent status, lower extremity muscle strength, balance ability, ADL, and Instrumental ADL. We asked subjects about number of falls every 4 months during a year. In univariate analysis, lower extremity muscle strength (p = 0.001) and mixed incontinence (p = 0.050) differed significantly according to the fall status. Stress and urge incontinence were not significantly associated with falls. In logistic regression analysis, subjects who had mixed incontinence were 3.05 (95% confidence interval 1.01-10.2) times more likely to fall than those without. These results suggest that mixed incontinence have independent associations with falls. Incontinent status should be considered to prevent falls among elderly persons who are partially dependent and need support.

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