Urinary Incontinence may be all in the Family

If your mother or older sister suffers from urinary incontinence, new research shows you may have a higher risk of developing the condition as well.

Researchers publishing in the British Medical Journal found the condition tends to run in families. Overall, women whose mothers had urinary incontinence were about 1.3-times more likely to suffer from it as well. When mothers reported severe symptoms, daughters were nearly two-times more likely to report urinary incontinence. If an older sister suffered from the condition, younger sisters were 1.6-times more likely to have it.

The study involved the daughters, sisters and granddaughters of more than 2,000 women diagnosed with urinary incontinence. Results were compared to results of about 6,000 women with no family history of the condition.

Researchers believe these findings suggest family history plays a significant role in the development of urinary incontinence and combined with other risk factors, could help identify women at risk for the condition.

“The symptoms of urinary incontinence are likely to have a complex cause, and known risk factors such as increasing age, pregnancy and childbirth, and high body mass index may further increase the risk among women with a familial predisposition,” the authors write.

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