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Weight Loss Reduces Incontinence In Obese Women, UCSF Study Shows
Date:1/28/2009

Behavioral weight-loss programs can be an effective way to reduce urinary incontinence in women who are overweight or obese, according to a study led by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco.

(Vocus) January 28, 2009 -- Behavioral weight-loss programs can be an effective way to reduce urinary incontinence in women who are overweight or obese, according to a study led by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco.

Volunteer participants in the Program to Reduce Incontinence by Diet and Exercise (PRIDE) experienced both significant weight loss and a significant reduction in the frequency of their incontinence episodes, according to the study. Findings appear in the January 29, 2009 issue of the "New England Journal of Medicine."

The multi-center, randomized clinical trial was conducted at UCSF, Brown University and the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

The results support the inclusion of weight reduction as a first-line treatment for incontinence for overweight and obese women, according to Leslee L. Subak, MD, lead author on the study and associate professor in the obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences; urology, and epidemiology and biostatistics departments at UCSF.

"It has been well documented that behavioral weight-loss interventions decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, improve control of high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and improve mood and quality of life," Subak said. "Our results suggest that a decrease in urinary incontinence can now be added to the extensive list of health benefits associated with weight loss."

Previous studies have indicated that obesity is a strong risk factor for urinary incontinence, a condition that affects more than 13 million women in the United States and accounts for an estimated $20
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