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Correlates of Urinary Incontinence in Community‐Dwelling Older Latinos


The prevalence of urinary incontinence (UI) has varied in the literature and is reflective of the definition and sampling methodologies used, as well as the age, ethnicity, and sex being studied. The aim of the current study was to measure the prevalence and correlates of UI in a sample of 572 older Latinos participating in Caminemos, a trial of a behavioral intervention to increase walking. Participants completed an in-person survey and physical performance measures. UI was measured using the International Consultation on Incontinence item: "How often do you leak urine?" Potential correlates of UI included sociodemographic variables, body mass index, smoking, physical activity, medical comorbidity, physical performance, activity of daily living (ADL) impairment, use of assistive ambulatory devices, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and depressive symptoms. The prevalence of UI in this sample was 26.9%. Women were more likely to report UI, as were those who were less physically active; used assistive ambulatory devices; and had depressive symptoms, greater medical comorbidity, worse physical performance, greater ADL impairment, worse cognitive function, and lower HRQoL. Multivariate logistic regression revealed that medical comorbidity was independently associated with higher rates of UI (odds ratio (OR)=1.66, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.30-2.12), whereas better cognitive function (OR=0.73, 95% CI=0.57-0.93) and higher weighted physical activity scores (OR=0.77, 95% CI=0.60-0.98) were independently associated with lower rates of UI. UI is highly prevalent but not ubiquitous among community-residing older Latinos, suggesting that UI is not an inevitable consequence of aging. Future studies should examine whether interventions that decrease comorbidity and cognitive decline and increase physical activity improve continence status.

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