(HealthDay News) — Older women with urinary incontinence may be at increased risk for depression and work disability, according to research published in the April issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Kristin J. Hung, MD, of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues analyzed data for 4,511 women, aged 54–65 years at baseline in 1996, from the Health and Retirement Study cohort to assess urinary incontinence and its association with probable depression, work disability, and workforce exit. The women were interviewed every two years until 2010–2011.

The researchers found that women with urinary incontinence were at increased risk for probable depression (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.43; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.27–1.62) and work disability (adjusted HR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.01–1.45). The association between urinary incontinence and workforce exit was not significant (adjusted HR, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.93–1.21).

“In a population-based cohort of women between ages 54–65 years, urinary incontinence was associated with increased risks for probable depression and work disability,” the authors write. “Improved diagnosis and management of urinary incontinence may yield significant economic and psychosocial benefits.”

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