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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2007 Dec;55(12):1932-9. Epub 2007 Oct 18.

Effectiveness of multidimensional exercises for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence in elderly community-dwelling Japanese women: a randomized, controlled, crossover trial.

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Research Team for Promoting Independence of the Elderly, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, Tokyo, Japan.



To evaluate the effectiveness of pelvic floor muscle (PFM) and fitness exercises in reducing urine leakage in elderly women with stress urinary incontinence (UI).


Randomized, crossover, follow-up trial.


Urban community in Japan.


Seventy women aged 70 and older who reported urine leakage one or more times per month; 35 were randomly assigned to intervention and the other 35 to control.


The intervention group attended an exercise class aimed at enhancing PFMs and fitness. Duration of the exercise was 60 minutes per session twice a week for 3 months. After 3 months of exercise, the intervention group was followed for 1 year.


Body mass index (BMI), urine leakage, walking speed, and muscle strength were measured at baseline, after the intervention, and at follow-up.


In the intervention group, maximum walking speed and adductor muscle strength increased significantly after the intervention; there were no significant changes in the control group. After 3 months of exercise, 54.5% of the intervention group and 9.4% of the control group reported being continent. Within the cured group of UI, a significantly higher proportion had decreased their BMI at 3 months (P=.03) and increased walking speed at 3 (P=.04) and 12 (P=.047) months.


Decrease in BMI and increase in walking speed may contribute to the treatment of UI, although the data do not support a positive correlation between strengthening of adductor muscle and improvement of UI, which needs more research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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