Urinary Incontinence By The Numbers

You know that urinary incontinence affects millions of adults, but have you ever wondered just how many?  Have you ever thought about how much money people spend each year on urinary incontinence treatments and products?  The National Association For Continence (NAFC) knows the answers to these questions and many others.  The NAFC is dedicated to informing others about the facts about incontinence in children and adults, and to get people with incontinence problems the help and information they need to manage their conditions. They have collected a lot of data about incontinence and incontinence related problems.  You can visit their website to see all of the information they have on the subject, but we thought that these facts were very interesting.


Adult incontinence affects 200 million people around the world, and 25 million in the United States experience transient or chronic urinary incontinence problems.  One third of men and women ages 30-70 have experienced loss of bladder control at some point in their adult lives, and some may still be living with the symptoms.  Many adults in the country experience signs and symptoms of having urinary incontinence problems.  More than one third of people aged 30-70 years old awaken twice or more to urinate each night, which fits the clinical diagnosis of nocturia.


Even though there are many adults that are experiencing signs of incontinence, it seems that adults in this country choose to not talk to their doctors about it as a whole. Two-thirds of men and women aged 30-70 have never discussed bladder health with their doctor.  Only one in eight Americans that have experienced a loss of bladder control have been diagnosed.  Men are less likely to talk about their incontinence problems with friends and family members and are usually less informed about these conditions than women.  Women on the other hand wait 6.5 years on average from the first time they experience symptoms of incontinence to see a doctor about their problems.


In 1995, the societal cost of incontinence for people who were 65 years of age or older was $26.3 billion, which amounts to about each person with incontinence issues spending $3565 on doctor’s appointments, treatments, adult diapers, and other incontinence products.  In the United States, nearly half of the costs of urinary incontinence are for medical services paid by Medicare.


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