Author(s): Melville JL, Fan MY, Newton K, Fenner D
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of fecal incontinence (FI) and associated risk factors in a broad age range of community-dwelling women. STUDY DESIGN: This was a population-based, age-stratified postal survey of 6000 women aged 30 to 90 years enrolled in a large HMO in Washington State. Sample was linked to longitudinal automated medical data. FI was defined as loss of liquid or solid stool at least monthly. RESULTS: The response rate was 64\%. The prevalence of FI was 7.2\%; prevalence increased notably with age. Women with FI reported significant lifestyle alteration and functional disability. Older age (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.11-2.22), major depression (OR 2.73), urinary incontinence (OR 2.32), medical comorbidity (OR 1.76-2.58), and operative vaginal delivery (OR 1.52) were significantly associated with increased odds of FI. CONCLUSION: In this large report of US community-dwelling women, FI was a prevalent condition. Age, major depression, urinary incontinence, medical illness, and operative vaginal delivery were strongly associated with likelihood of FI.
This article was published in Am J Obstet Gynecol
and referenced in Journal of Gastrointestinal & Digestive System