Descriptive data on 145 community-dwelling older women with urinary incontinence are presented. Assessment included history, physical and functional examinations, and urodynamic and severity evaluations. Patients were 67 ± 8 years old, mentally and functionally intact, predominantly white, and of middle-to-upper socioeconomic strata. Specific urodynamic criteria were used to establish the diagnosis of sphincteric incompetence and detrusor instability. Fifteen (10%) did not fulfill either criteria, 90 (62%) had sphincteric incompetence, 17 (12%) had detrusor instability, and 23 (16%) had both. Detrusor and urethral function variables showed some impairment in all patients. Impairment was least in subjects without demonstrable diagnosis and worst in those with both disorders (p < 0.01). The findings suggest that detrusor and urethral functions are impaired in all incontinent women and that the degree of impairment varies. The impairment seems worse when both urodynamic diagnoses are demonstrable. The data support the pathophysiologic association of urethral and detrusor dysfunctions.
- Urinary incontinence
- severity of incontinence