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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.

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 billion in annual health care costs, Subak said. The PRIDE research team sought to provide evidence of the beneficial effect of a weight loss program involving diet and exercise on urinary incontinence.

The study randomly assigned 338 overweight and obese women aged 42 to 64 years with at least 10 episodes of urinary incontin
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Contact: Kristen Bole
kbole@pubaff.ucsf.edu
415-476-2557
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

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