PTSD Linked to Urinary Incontinence in Female Veterans

But, depression not found to be associated with urinary incontinence in female vets

FRIDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is independently associated with urgency/mixed urinary incontinence (UI) symptoms in female veterans, according to a study published in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Catherine S. Bradley, M.D., from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues assessed 968 women (mean age, 38.7 years) registered at two Midwestern U.S. Veterans Affairs Medical Centers or outlying clinics in a cross-sectional study. The women completed a computer-assisted telephone interview.

The researchers found that, among the female veterans, 191 (19.7 percent) reported urgency/mixed UI and 183 (18.9 percent) reported stress UI. Urgency/mixed UI was associated with PTSD (odds ratio [OR], 1.8; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.0 to 3.1; P = 0.04) but not with depression (OR, 1.2; 95 percent CI, 0.73 to 2.0). Stress UI was not associated with either PTSD or depression.

"In conclusion, unlike women veterans with stress UI (only), those with urgency/mixed UI are more likely to have PTSD and poorer mental health-related quality of life than women veterans with no UI," the authors write. "These findings emphasize the need for additional research to better understand the complex associations between UI and psychologic symptoms and the neurobiologic basis of urgency UI."

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