Urinary Incontinence in a Community‐residing Elderly Population

Thomas A. Teasdale, George Taffet, Robert J. Luchi, Erwin Adam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


A self-administered postal questionnaire was presented to all attending members (843) of local summer meetings of a national association for retired persons. A 71% response rate (599) revealed that 33% of the total sample population experienced some form of urinary incontinence. Twenty-three and seven-tenths percent (142) experienced occasional urine dribbling, 2.3% (14) were unable to prevent involuntary emptying of their bladder, and 7.3% (44) suffered both problems. Eighty-three percent of the respondents were between the ages of 65 and 85 years. Females accounted for 75% of all respondents. Respondents 75 years of age or older had a higher occurrence of all forms of urinary incontinence (P = .057), and a strong association existed with the same age-group and uncontrolled emptying of the bladder (P = .02). Thirty-seven percent of the females and 22% of the males reported having had an incontinent episode (P = .002). High parity (four or more births) was significantly associated with incontinence in females (P = .04). These survey findings provide prevalence estimates of urinary incontinence that are greater than those previously reported and show statistical differences by age and gender. The study population is not representative of all the noninstitutionalized elderly, but consists primarily of individuals who are active, ambulatory, generally healthy and may underestimate the magnitude of the problem. Urinary incontinence is substantiated as a major health problem in even the most functional community-residing elderly citizens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)600-606
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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