Weight loss reduces incontinence in obese women

January 29th, 2009 - 4:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Jan 29 (IANS) Weight-loss programmes cut down urinary incontinence among overweight or obese women, according to the latest research. Volunteers in the Programme to Reduce Incontinence by Diet and Exercise (PRIDE) experienced significant weight loss and reduction in the frequency of their incontinence episodes. Incontinence is involuntary release of urine.

The multi-centre clinical trial was conducted by the Universities of California San Francisco (UCSF), Albama (Birmingham) and Brown University.

The results support the inclusion of weight reduction as a first-line treatment for incontinence for overweight and obese women, said Leslee L. Subak, co-author of the study and associate professor in obstetrics, gynaecology and reproductive sciences at the UCSF.

“It has been well documented that behavioural weight loss interventions decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, improve control of high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and improve mood and quality of life,” Subak said.

The PRIDE research team sought to provide evidence of the beneficial effect of a weight loss programme involving diet and exercise on urinary incontinence.

The study randomly assigned 338 overweight and obese women aged 42 to 64 years with at least 10 episodes of urinary incontinence per week to either an intensive six-month weight-loss programme that included group diet, exercise, and behavioural modification sessions, or to a control group who received weight loss information but no rigorous guidance.

Study participants in the weight-loss group lost an average of 17 pounds and reduced the weekly number of incontinence episodes by almost half (47 percent), said a UCSF release.

Conversely, the control group lost an average of three pounds per person and had a 28 percent decrease in weekly number of incontinence episodes.

These findings appeared in Thursday’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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