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Losing Excess Weight May Reduce Urinary Incontinence

May 15, 2017

Researchers already know that lowering body mass index (BMI) can decrease the risk for urinary incontinence in middle-aged adults. But a new study found that lowering BMI may also help lower the risk for stress urinary incontinence (SUI) in women ages 70 and older.

The study followed 1,137 women of those ages over three years and found that those who lowered their BMI by at least 5 percent were less likely to report SUI than women with a lower percentage of weight loss. BMI didn’t appear to have an effect on urge urinary incontinence (UUI).

“Obesity can be a risk factor for stress urinary incontinence. Because of this, we like to incorporate nutrition and fitness counseling into our treatment plan,” says Kevin Gioia, M.D., director of Ocean Medical Center’s Urinary Incontinence and Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation Program. “I believe in treating the patient as a whole, not just the symptom. That’s how you achieve lasting results. It’s a win-win.”

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