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Incontinence focus of new CDC report

June 25, 2014
by Lois A. Bowers, Senior Editor
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A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics details rates of incontinence among older Americans and how age, gender, marital status are race figure into the picture.

Among the findings of Prevalence of Incontinence Among Older Americans (PDF):

Nursing home residents:

  • 46.1 percent of short-term nursing home residents and 75.8 percent of long-term nursing home residents were not in complete control of urinary bladder function or bowel movement during 14 days before interviews were conducted.
  • Those aged 85 or more years were 1.5 times more likely than those aged 65 to 74 to experience such issues as short-term residents and 1.2 times more likely as long-term residents.
  • Short-term residents who were men were more likely than women to have bowel movement control issues.
  • Long-term residents who were women were more likely than men to have urinary bladder control issues.
  • Non-Hispanic black residents were more likely to have bladder or bowel control issues than non-Hispanic white or Hispanic residents.
  • Among short-term residents, the more education a resident had, the less likely he or she was to not be in control of urinary bladder or bowel movement functions.
  • Among long-term residents, control issues increased slightly as education level increased.
  • More married residents in short-term and long-term care experienced control issues compared with unmarried residents.

Residential care facility residents:

  • 39 percent of residential care facility residents had an episode of urinary and/or bowel incontinence during the seven days before the survey.
  • Women were 1.2 times more likely than men to report a urinary incontinence episode.
  • Residents who were married or living with a partner were 1.4 times more likely to have a urinary incontinence episode and twice as likely to have a bowel incontinence episode as unmarried residents.

To read about report methodology and see all results, click here (PDF).

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