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    Weight-loss surgery may reduce incontinence

    Bariatric weight-loss surgery significantly improved urinary incontinence in severely obese people over a 3-year period in a newly reported study.

    The findings extend previous research showing weight-loss-associated reductions in incontinence over shorter periods of about a year.

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    The observational cohort study investigated incontinence in 1,987 patients who underwent bariatric surgery between 2005 and 2009 at 10 hospitals nationwide. Using a validated questionnaire, researchers assessed frequency and type of incontinence episodes during the previous 3 months at baseline (before surgery), then annually for 3 years. They defined prevalent incontinence as episodes occurring at least once a week and remission as a decline between baseline and follow-up from prevalent incontinence to episodes less often than weekly.

    Study participants, predominantly women (78.8%), ranged in age from 18 to 78 years with a median age of 47 years. Median body mass index at baseline was 47 kg/m2. Researchers controlled for age, race, smoking status, and recent pregnancy. Before surgery, 49.3% of women and 21.8% of men reported experiencing incontinence at least once a week.

    NEXT: Incontinence still below baseline at 3 years

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