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Urinary Incontinence among Male Veterans Receiving Care in Primary Care Clinics

Steven H. Smoger, MD; Toni L. Felice, PhD; and Goetz H. Kloecker, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

From the University of Louisville and Louisville Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Louisville, Kentucky.


Presented as a poster at the American Geriatrics Society Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington, May 1998.

Acknowledgments: The authors thank Ms. Rose Massey for secretarial assistance and Charlene Mitchell, MD, and Paul McKinney, MD, for helpful comments on the manuscript.

Grant Support: This work was supported by a grant from the Clinical Research Foundation of the Louisville Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Louisville, Kentucky.

Requests for Single Reprints: Steven H. Smoger, MD, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Louisville, 530 South Jackson Street, Louisville, KY 40292; e-mail, shsmog01@med.louisville.edu.

Requests To Purchase Bulk Reprints (minimum, 100 copies): the Reprints Coordinator; phone, 215-351-2657; e-mail, reprints@mail.acponline.org.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Smoger: Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Louisville, 530 South Jackson Street, Louisville, KY 40292.

Dr. Felice: 408 Cascade Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15221.

Dr. Kloecker: 1014 Seminary Street, Carrollton, KY 41008.

Author Contributions: Conception and design: S.H. Smoger, T.L. Felice, G.H. Kloecker.

Analysis and interpretation of the data: S.H. Smoger, T.L. Felice.

Drafting of the article: S.H. Smoger, T.L. Felice, G.H. Kloecker.

Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: S.H. Smoger, T.L. Felice, G.H. Kloecker.

Final approval of the article: S.H. Smoger, T.L. Felice, G.H. Kloecker.

Statistical expertise: T.L. Felice.

Obtaining of funding: S.H. Smoger.

Collection and assembly of data: S.H. Smoger, T.L. Felice, G.H. Kloecker.


Ann Intern Med. 2000;132(7):547-551. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-132-7-200004040-00006
Text Size: A A A

Background: Male urinary incontinence is not a well-investigated subject.

Objective: To determine the prevalence and consequences of incontinence in men.

Design: Cross-sectional survey.

Setting: 3 primary care clinics in a Kentucky Veterans Affairs facility.

Patients: 840 men with a mean age of 59.8 years (range, 25 to 93 years).

Measurements: Written survey on patient demographic information and continence, including the Incontinence Impact Questionnaire.

Results: Among all study patients, 32.3% reported incontinence within the past 12 months and 13.8% (43% of those who were incontinent) reported at least weekly episodes. Age did not correlate with frequency or amount of urine loss. Frequency correlated with emotional health, social relationships, physical activity, and travel. Greater amounts of lost urine had a stronger effect on emotional health, social relationships, and travel. Among men with incontinence, only 32% had discussed incontinence with their medical provider but 75% desired evaluation and treatment.

Conclusions: Urinary incontinence is common among male veterans and affects all age groups. Although incontinence often has unfavorable consequences on quality of life and although men with incontinence desired treatment, they seldom discussed the problem with medical providers. Systematic screening of men for urinary incontinence may be necessary.

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Summary for Patients

Urinary Incontinence in Men

The summary below is from the full report titled “Urinary Incontinence among Male Veterans Receiving Care in Primary Care Clinics.”. It is in the 4 April 2000 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (volume 132, pages 547-551). The authors are.H. Smoger, T.L. Felice, and G.H. Kloecker.

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