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Definition of Incontinence

What does incontinence mean?

Incontinence is the uncontrollable loss of urine or stool that is large or frequent enough to cause a social or health problem.[1] It is a problem that can be very upsetting and embarrassing. But many people don't discuss the situation with their doctors, despite the fact that 80% of urinary incontinence cases can be cured or improved.

Approximately 13 million people in the United States are affected by incontinence.[2] Its prevalence increases with age, but it isn't considered a part of normal aging. From 25% to 30% of older women and 10% to 15% of older men living in the community (that is, not in an extended care facility) may have incontinence.[1] More people are likely to be incontinent in a nursing home facility, generally 50%. Incontinence can lead to the breakdown of skin and increased urinary tract infections. Causes that may be reversible include delirium, infection, medicines, psychological disorders, hormonal disorders, limited mobility and stool impaction.

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, October 13, 2009