Some Statistics about Urinary and Faecal Incontinence
Bladder problems affect more than 200m people worldwide according to the World Health Organization. (World Health Organization Calls First International Consultation on Incontinence. Press Release WHO/49, 1 July 1998.)
The NHS estimates that between 3 and 6 million people in the UK have some degree of urinary incontinence. (Source: Irwin, D., Milsom, I. et al. Impact of overactive bladder symptoms on employment, social inteactions and emotional wellbeing in six European countries. British Journal of Urology International: 2005; 97, 96-100)
Studies suggest that in the UK "major faecal incontinence" affects 1.4% of the general population over 40 years old and constipation affects between 3% and 15% of the population. (Perry, S. et al. Prevalence of faecal incontinence in adults aged 40 years or more living in the community. Gut 2002; 50: 480-484)
In 2001 an English study about prevalence of faecal incontinence in adults over 40 years old concluded that "faecal incontinence is a common symptom in men as well in women", particularly in older people. (Denis, L. et al. Continence Promotion: Prevention, Education and Organisation. Abrams, et al (eds) Third International Consultation on Incontinence 2004: Monaco; vol 1, p38.)
In the UK, 24% of older people are affected by urinary incontinence. Of those older people in institutional care, 30-60% are affected by urinary incontinence, and 25% by bowel incontinence. (Hunskaar, S., Lose, et al. (2003) Prevalence of Stress Urinary Incontinence in Women in Four European Countries, 2002. ICS: UK)
A study in 2002 found that 32% of women in the UK, 34% in Germany, 32% in France and 15% in Spain had symptoms of urinary incontinence in the previous 30 days. (Hunskaar, S., Lose, et al. (2003) Prevalence of Stress Urinary Incontinence in Women in Four European Countries, 2002. ICS: UK)
Women are more likely to suffer from stress urinary incontinence than men. That's because of the effects of childbirth and the menopause.
Men, on the other hand, are more likely to have urinary retention due to prostate gland enlargement as they age.
In 2002 the American-based International Federation for Gastrointestinal Disorders surveyed people who live with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and found that 25% of respondents with IBS reported loss of bowel control. (International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. IBS in the Real World. IBS Research Findings by IFFGD. August 2002)
In 2004 an American survey (by the National Association for Continence) reported that women wait 6.5 years and men 4.2 years after beginning to experience bladder control problems before seeing a healthcare professional.
Women are 5 times more likely to develop urinary incontinence then men.
Half the female population will experience urinary incontinence at some time in their lives.
Only one if five women affected seek help for incontinence issues.
6% of women between 15 to 44 experience continence issues.
Over 10% of men over 65 have urinary incontinence to some degree.