Functional Daily Ability and BPH Linked to Urinary Incontinence in Older Korean Men

Functional Daily Ability and BPH Linked to Urinary Incontinence in Older Korean Men

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is one of the risk factors for urinary incontinence (UI) in older men. Researchers at two Korean universities investigated the prevalence of urinary incontinence among older Korean men, and its association with BPH and the ability to perform daily activities. The findings demonstrate an association between UI and men’s limited activities and presence of BPH, pointing to the need for intervention.

The research paper, “Association of Functional Ability and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia With Urinary Incontinence in Older Korean Men,” was published in the International Neurology Journal.

Urinary incontinence is a common occurrence in older adults, significantly affecting their quality of life. Several risk factors are associated with urinary incontinence, such as advanced age, diabetes mellitus (DM), hypertension, memory problems, stroke, functional impairment, and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In particular, functional impairment and BPH are more likely to be associated with urinary incontinence.

Researchers at Yonsei University and Hanyang University analyzed data from the 2008 Actual Living Condition of the Elderly and Welfare Need Survey. Data of 6,185 male participants aged 60 years and above was included in the study, which was limited to men in Korea.

Of the study population, 243 men (3.9 percent) reported having UI. The prevalence of UI appeared to increase with age; UI was reported in 1.8 percent of men ages 60 or older and in 11.7 percent of men age 85 or older.

The prevalence of urinary incontinence in Korean older men was, however, lower than that reported in other countries. The participants were asked about the presence of BPH and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), which were assessed by questions about the patients’ ability to carry on simple daily tasks, such as shopping and transportation, in an independent manner.

Results indicate that IADL limitations and the presence of BPH were the only significant factors associated with urinary incontinence in older men, even after controlling for demographic factors, comorbidities, and walking speed. The results are consistent with findings from previous studies, indicating, among other things, that IADL dependency scores are emerging as predictors of UI in older men.

Researchers highlight that BPH is emerging as a serious health problem for order men, which may be followed by an increase in the prevalence of UI secondary to BPH. Preventive  interventions should be considered  to reduce the risk of symptomatic BPH, LUTS, and urinary incontinence.

“Gender-sensitive interventions to attenuate IADL limitations and manage BPH should be developed and applied to improve UI in older men,” the researchers concluded.

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Margarida graduated with a BS in Health Sciences from the University of Lisbon and a MSc in Biotechnology from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST-UL). She worked as a molecular biologist research associate at a Cambridge UK-based biotech company that discovers and develops therapeutic, fully human monoclonal antibodies.

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