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Caring for patients with fecal incontinence costs more than $4,000 per person each year
Date:5/31/2012

direct cost (loss of productivity).

"Our study suggests that the annual cost of fecal incontinence is similar to that of urinary incontinence," says Fenner, adding that urinary incontinence doesn't carry the same stigma as fecal incontinence and is often talked about in the media and by health care providers.

Those who suffer with fecal incontinence find it difficult to hide odor issues, and the condition can lead to depression and social isolation. Many suffer for five years or more before seeking treatment options, Fenner says.

"For many patients, the sooner you are treated, the better," Fenner says. Diet management, physical therapy for pelvic floor issues, anti-diarrheal medications can all be used, and more and more surgical options are available.

"This study shows that more attention should be directed to the prevention of this condition," Fenner says. "In addition, interventions that can help patients manage their symptoms could generate financial benefits as well, because the results show that patients with more severe incontinence also have higher annual costs of care."


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Contact: Mary F. Masson
mfmasson@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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