Fecal incontinence is a common problem that has been associated with anatomic, physiological, and medical conditions.
There are very few data on the factors associated with fecal incontinence in elderly women.
Professor Nicholas Talley and colleagues determined the factors associated with fecal incontinence via a population-based survey in a large cohort of elderly Australian women.
Data from a large longitudinal population-based study of elderly Australian women aged 82 to 87 years were analyzed.
Participants were 5560 women who participated in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, and 4815 women responded to questions relating to fecal incontinence.
Fecal incontinence was defined as leakage of liquid and/or solid stool at least once per month over the past 12 months.
The researchers recorded self-reported medical conditions and lifestyle factors as well as demographic factors.
The prevalence of fecal incontinence was 10%.
|The prevalence of fecal incontinence was 10%|
|Diseases of the Rectum and Colon|
The prevalence was significantly higher among institutional- versus community-dwelling women.
Univariately, lifestyle factors including fruit intake and fluid intake, along with a range of comorbidities, were associated.
The team noted that independent factors for fecal incontinence among community-dwelling women included diabetes mellitus, depression, urinary incontinence, and osteoarthritis.
The research team found that among institutional-dwelling women urinary incontinence, and poorer general health to be independently associated.
Professor Talley's team concludes, "The independent factors associated with fecal incontinence in this population do not appear readily modifiable, and many previously identified risk factors may not be important in the elderly women with fecal incontinence."