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Weight Loss Linked to Reduced Incontinence

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Apr 20, 2009
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The New England Journal of Medicine earlier this year published a new study showing the connection between losing weight and incontinence relief.

The clinical trial, which was cited in a New York Times article by Roni Caryn Rabin, of 338 overweight and obese women with incontinence problems who took in a six-month weight loss program discovered that they experienced half the amount of leakage incidents compared to before the program.

The women, who lost an average of 17 pounds, experienced a 47 percent reduction in the number of weekly incontinence episodes, compared to women in the control group, whose weekly episodes dropped by 28 percent, the study found. The women in the comparison group didn't participate in a weight loss program but attended four educational sessions that included information about weight loss, physical activity and healthy eating.

“The really lovely thing about this is not only can women treat their incontinence, but there are a myriad of other healthy benefits like improved blood pressure control, lipids, sleep, libido," said Dr. Leslee L. Subak, first author of the paper and an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, San Francisco.

“Weight loss should be a first-line recommendation for urinary incontinence," she added.

The study supported the hypothesis that excess weight puts extra pressure on the bladder and pelvic floor, and that a loss in weight will put less pressure on the bladder, Dr. Subak told the New York Times.

Source: The New York Times; Feb 3, 2009

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