Both doctors and scientists alike have discovered many different causes of urinary incontinence. However, recently, research results from a Medical Research Council National Survey for Health and Development birth cohort, discovered the risk of developing urinary incontinence after experiencing a stroke. The researchers behind this study believe that strokes or transient ischemic attacks (TIA) could be a significant risk factor for urgency urinary incontinence (source).
The 1,762 participants for this study needed to be over the age of 68 with a previous history of stroke or TIA–a temporary block of blood flow to the brain, also known as mini strokes–at the age of 60 to 64 years. Researchers discovered that these participants were actually twice as susceptible to developing urgency urinary incontinence in comparison to those who didn’t have a history of strokes or transient ischemic attacks.
Additionally, their research also lined up with previous studies that looked at BMI (body mass index) as a contributing factor to forms of urinary incontinence. Their results showed that with each standard deviation increment in a participant’s body mass index, their odds of contracting urgency urinary incontinence was 19% higher. However, in female participants who showed signs of stress urinary incontinence, they were 1.8 times likely to develop forms of urgency urinary incontinence. In total, their study determined that the prevalence of developing urgency urinary incontinence at the age of 68 in their male participants was 12%, while their female participants of 68 years of age was 19%.
Researchers also noted that in cases of severely debilitating forms urgency urinary incontinence, the above-defined risk factors were actually much stronger. Even before experiencing a stroke or transient ischemic attacks, participants were still at 3.6 times greater risk of developing symptoms of severe urgency urinary incontinence. However, researchers never found the same association with mild forms of UUI. Although, they did discover that forms of hypertension (high blood pressure) in men 60 to 64 years of age contributed to a 1.6 greater risk in developing urgency urinary incontinence; this statistic was not found in women.
Taking a closer look at their women participants, researchers concluded that there was little to no association between urgency urinary incontinence and menopause of hormone replacement therapy. They also determined that there was no connection between smoking, physical activity, and UUI.
As you can see, there are very many contributing factors to signs and symptoms of urinary incontinence, especially in urgency urinary incontinence. Although previous history of stroke or transient ischemic attacks plays a significant role in one’s susceptibility to urgency urinary incontinence, factors such as hypertension and BMI can also determine one’s vulnerability to UUI.