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Depression and the incidence of urinary incontinence symptoms among young women

Results from a prospective cohort study

  • Findings from this study suggest that depression is associated with the development of urinary incontinence symptom in young women.
  • Women with a history of depression are at risk of developing urinary incontinence.

The study aimed to examine the association of depressive symptoms with subsequent urinary incontinence (UI) symptoms among young women. 

Data were from a cohort of 5391 young women (born 1973–1978) from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. Generalised Estimating Equations (GEEs) were used to link depressive symptoms, and history of doctor diagnosed depression at Survey 2 (S2) in 2000 with the incidence of UI symptoms in subsequent surveys (from S3 in 2003 to S6 in 2012).

The results indicated 24% of women reported the incidence of UI over the nine-year study period, while the prevalence rose over time from 6.8% (at S2, aged 22–27 years) to 16.5% (at S6, aged 34–39). From univariable GEE analysis, women with depressive symptoms or a history of depression were more likely to report subsequent UI symptoms. This remained after adjusting for socio-demographic, body mass index, health behaviours and reproductive factors, with depressive symptoms associated with 37% higher odds (odds ratio 1.37, 95% CI 1.16 to 1.61) and history of depression with 42% higher odds (1.42, 1.17 to 1.74) of incidence of UI.

The authors conclusioned that when a woman seek treatment for UI symptoms, health professionals should consider her current or history of depression.

Reference

Mishra GD, Barker MS, Herber-Gast GC, Hillard T. Depression and the incidence of urinary incontinence symptoms among young women: Results from a prospective cohort study. Maturitas. 2015 Aug;81(4):456-61. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2015.05.006. Epub 2015 May 22.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2015.05.006 

Content updated 28 August 2015

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