Objectives: To determine the prevalence and risk factors of urinary incontinence (UI), and to assess its impact on quality of life (QOL) in Turkish women. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 1012 women aged over 18 years were interviewed through a questionnaire including 'International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire Short Form'. Results: The overall prevalence of UI was 23.9% (n = 242). Among these women, 62 (25.6%) had urge, 80 (33.1%) stress and 100 (41.3%) mixed type UI. The prevalence rate increased with advancing age. Eighty-nine women (36.8%) stated to have urinary leakage at least once a day or more, while 153 (63.2%) women were experiencing less than twice a week. UI was significantly associated with fecal incontinence, hypertension, history of nocturnal enuresis, and recurrent urinary tract infections. Overall, 211 (87.2%) women stated that UI have negative impact on the QOL. This effect remained mostly at the mild or moderate level. Although many (87.2%) had intention for medical assistance, only a few (14.9%) had realized it. Women with urge UI and aged 40 to 50 years looked for more assistance than others. Conclusions: UI affect approximately one of four Turkish women. The results emphasize the need for taking preventive measures and policy development for UI. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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