To determine risk factors of urinary incontinence (UI) in Taiwanese women aged 60 or over, face-to-face interviews with 1,517 women, selected by a multistage random method, were completed. The prevalence of UI in this age group was 29.8%. Factors and their prevalence associated with UI were age [odds ratio (OR)=1.04 per year], diabetes mellitus (39.8%, p=0.002), hypertension (39.5%, p=0.001), abdominal gynecological surgery (41.4%, p=0.001), hysterectomy (42.4%, p=0.003), history of drug allergy (41.3%, p=0.001), smoking (45.5%, p=0.010), hormone replacement therapy (41.5%, p=0.026), and high body mass index (OR=1.05 per unit). Alcohol consumption and marriage did not increase the risk of UI. UI is a common and costly problem in elderly women. It diminishes the quality of life of the affected women. Of the associated factors that are preventable, modifiable, or controllable, smoking, prior hysterectomy, and obesity may have the greatest impact on the prevalence of UI.
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