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Association between urinary incontinence and frailty: a systematic review and meta‑analysis

  • Veronese, Nicola
  • Soysal, Pinar
  • Stubbs, Brendon
  • Marengoni, Alessandra
  • Demurtas, Jacopo
  • Maggi, Stefania
  • Petrovic, Mirko
  • Verdejo-Bravo, Carlos
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2018
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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Purpose Urinary incontinence (UI) and frailty are common geriatric syndromes. Although literature increasingly supports a relationship between these two conditions, no systematic review and meta-analysis has been performed on this topic. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the potential association between UI and frailty, through a meta-analytic approach. Methods A systematic search in major databases was undertaken until 15th March 2018 for studies reporting the association between UI and frailty. The prevalence of UI in people with frailty (vs. those without) was pooled through an odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), with a random-effects model. The other outcomes were summarized descriptively. Results Among 828 papers, 11 articles were eligible, including 3784 participants (mean age 78.2 years; 55.1% women). The prevalence of UI was 39.1% in people with frailty and 19.4% in those without. A meta-analysis with five studies (1540 participants) demonstrated that UI was over twice as likely in frail people versus those without (OR 2.28; 95% CI 1.35–3.86; I2 = 61%). One cross-sectional study, adjusting for potential confounders and one longitudinal study confirmed that UI is significantly associated with frailty. In two cross-sectional studies, using adjusted analyses, frailty was more common in people with UI. Conclusion Urinary incontinence is twice as common in older people with frailty compared to older people without frailty. Screening and the development of interventions for UI and frailty could prove useful for this common comorbidity.

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