AUA: Yoga Can Reduce Urinary Incontinence in Older Women

Greater decrease in total UI frequency with yoga intervention versus time-and-attention control group.
Greater decrease in total UI frequency with yoga intervention versus time-and-attention control group.

HealthDay News — A 3-month yoga intervention can reduce urinary incontinence (UI) frequency in ambulatory women aged 50 years or older, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association, held from May 18 to 23 in San Francisco.

Alison Huang, MD, from the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial in ambulatory women aged 50 years or older who reported at least daily UI who were willing to temporarily forgo using clinical UI treatments. Women were randomized to participate in either a 3-month yoga therapy program consisting of twice-weekly classes and once-weekly home practice or a nonspecific muscle stretching/strengthening program designed to provide a time-and-attention control. Fifty-six women (mean age, 65 ± 8 years) were randomized over 18 months; 50 women completed the 3-month trial. 

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The researchers observed a decrease in total UI frequency by 74 and 51% in the yoga and time-and-attention control groups, respectively (P=.02 for between-group difference in percent UI reduction from baseline; P=.09 for between-group difference in absolute UI reduction). No adverse events related to either intervention were reported by any of the women.

"These results are very promising to women and provide simple behavioral changes that can be very beneficial to women by decreasing lower urinary tract symptoms and improving quality of life," a coauthor said in a statement.

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