Fecal Incontinence in US Women: A Population-Based Study
Jennifer L. Melville, MD, MPHemail address, Ming-Yu Fan, PhD, Katherine Newton, PhD, Dee Fenner, MD
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.
American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology - December 2005 (Vol. 193, Issue 6, Pages 2071-2076, DOI: 10.1016/j.ajog.2005.07.018)