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Kaiser Permanente Study Shows One-Third of Women Have Overactive Bladder, Incontinence or Other Pelvic Floor Disorders
Date:3/1/2008

Researchers Determine Age Has No Significant Bearing on these Disorders and

Urge Physicians to Question Patients about Symptoms

OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study by Kaiser Permanente found that one-third of women suffer from one or more pelvic floor disorders, which include symptoms such as the frequent urge to urinate, dropped pelvic organs, and incontinence. The study consists of the broadest age range of participants to date, of which 80 percent of the 4,000 women studied had given birth. Of those 4,000 women, 25 percent suffered from anal incontinence, 15 percent from stress urinary incontinence, 13 percent from overactive bladder and six percent experienced pelvic organ prolapse, the dropping of pelvic organs.

"These conditions really affect women's quality of life. Many women think this is just something they have to deal with as they age and that there isn't anything they can do about it, but that's not true," said lead author Jean M. Lawrence, ScD, MPH, MSSA, a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente's Department of Research and Evaluation in Southern California, where the study was conducted.

Published in the March issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology, the study surveyed women aged 25 to 84 in English and Spanish, making it the most extensive research on the subject to date across such a wide age range. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the findings expand on research published two years ago by the same scientific team from Kaiser Permanente Southern California and the University of California, San Diego Medical Center that found that vaginal births double the rate of pelvic floor disorders compared to Cesarean deliveries and women who have never given birth.

"One of the myths surrounding pelvic floor disorder is that it affects only older women, but the truth is these conditions are extremely prevalent and extremely debilitating. But because the subject matter isn't cocktail conversatio
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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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