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News

Risk factors for fecal incontinence in adults in the USA

The most recent issue of Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology investigates prevalence, trends, and risk factors for fecal incontinence in United States adults.

News image

Dr Ivo Ditah and colleagues from Minnesota, USA investigated the prevalence of and trends and risk factors for fecal incontinence (FI) in the United States among non-institutionalized adults from 2005 to 2010.

The researchers analyzed data from 14,759 participants in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2005 to 2010.

FI was defined as accidental leakage of solid or liquid stool or mucus at least once in preceding month.

Sampling weights were used to obtain estimates for the national population.

Prevalence increased with age to 16% among participants 70 years and older
Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Logistic regression was used to identify risk factors for FI.

The researchers found that the prevalence of FI among non-institutionalized U.S. adults was 8.4%.

It was stable throughout the study period, with 8.3% in 20052006, 8.5% in 20072008, and 8.4% in 20092010.

FI resulted in release of liquid stool in most cases.

The team noted that the prevalence increased with age from 3% among 20- to 29-year-old participants to 16% among participants 70 years and older.

The research team noted that independent risk factors for FI included older age, diabetes mellitus, urinary incontinence, frequent and loose stools, and multiple chronic illnesses.

The team observed that FI was more common among women only when they had urinary incontinence.

Dr Ditah's team concludes, "FI is a common problem among non-institutionalized U.S. adults."

"Its prevalence remained stable from 20052010. Diabetes mellitus and chronic diarrhea are modifiable risk factors."

"Future studies on risk factors for FI should assess for presence of urinary incontinence."

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2014: 12(4): 636-643.e2
25 March 2014

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