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J Urol. 2012 Mar;187(3):939-44. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2011.10.139. Epub 2012 Jan 20.

Weight loss prevents urinary incontinence in women with type 2 diabetes: results from the Look AHEAD trial.

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Kinesiology Department, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California 93407-0386, USA.



We determined the effect of weight loss on the prevalence, incidence and resolution of weekly or more frequent urinary incontinence in overweight/obese women with type 2 diabetes after 1 year of intervention in the Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) trial.


Women in this substudy (2,739, mean ± SD age 57.9 ± 6.8 years, body mass index 36.5 ± 6.1 kg/m(2)) were randomized into an intensive lifestyle weight loss intervention or a diabetes support and education control condition.


At baseline 27% of participants reported urinary incontinence on a validated questionnaire (no significant difference by intensive lifestyle intervention vs diabetes support and education). After 1 year of intervention the intensive lifestyle intervention group in this substudy lost 7.7 ± 7.0 vs 0.7 ± 5.0 kg in the diabetes support and education group. At 1 year fewer women in the intensive lifestyle intervention group reported urinary incontinence (25.3% vs 28.6% in the diabetes support and education group, p = 0.05). Among participants without urinary incontinence at baseline 10.5% of intensive lifestyle intervention and 14.0% of diabetes support and education participants experienced urinary incontinence after 1 year (p = 0.02). There were no significant group differences in the resolution of urinary incontinence (p >0.17). Each kg of weight lost was associated with a 3% reduction in the odds of urinary incontinence developing (p = 0.01), and weight losses of 5% to 10% reduced these odds by 47% (p = 0.002).


Moderate weight loss reduced the incidence but did not improve the resolution rates of urinary incontinence at 1 year among overweight/obese women with type 2 diabetes. Weight loss interventions should be considered for the prevention of urinary incontinence in overweight/obese women with diabetes.


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