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Gastroenterol Clin Biol. 2006 Jan;30(1):37-43.

Prevalence of anal incontinence in adults and impact on quality-of-life.

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  • 1Fédération des Spécialités Digestives, Hôpital Edouard Herriot, Lyon. henri.damon@wanadoo.fr

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the prevalence of anal incontinence in the general population and in patients consulting gastroenterologist and gynecologist practices in the Rhône Alpes area.

METHODS:

For the first study a questionnaire was sent to a sample of 2800 people selected randomly from the electoral roll. Another study of patients selected randomly among patients attending gynecology and gastroenterology consultations was performed. A Jorge & Wexner score above or equal to 5 was used to define anal incontinence.

RESULTS:

For the first study, a total of 706 questionnaires was analyzed: the prevalence of anal incontinence was 5.1% [95% CI: 3.6-7.0] and the scores of each dimension of the SF-12 Health Survey were significantly lower among incontinent people than among continent people. The prevalence was significantly higher for women (7.5% [5.0-10.7]) than for men (2.4% [1.1-4.7]). Eighty-four physicians returned 835 valid questionnaires. The prevalence was 13.1% [10.1-16.6] among patients attending gastroenterology consultations and 5.0% [3.1-7.6] among those attending gynecology consultations. For 84.8% of the incontinent patients, the physician was unaware of the patient's disorder.

CONCLUSION:

The prevalence figures we obtained coincide with data in the literature. This disorder is common and affects the patient's quality-of-life, but remains underestimated and under-diagnosed.

PMID:
16514381
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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