Men Women
Age The prevalence of symptoms increases
significantly. In one study, incidence
rose from 3.4% of men between the
ages of 40 and 44, to 41.9% of men
75 years and older.
Prevalence also increases with age. In
the same study, incidence increased
from 8.7% of women between the ages
of 40 and 44, to 31.3% of those
75 years and older.
Chronic medical
Multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, dementia, and impaired mobility may cause bladder symptoms. Same for women.
Medications Diuretics, antidepressants, alpha-agonists, beta-antagonists, sedatives, anti-cholinergics, and analgesics can all cause urinary tract symptoms. Same for women.
Menopause and
N/A Menopause has been associated with a decrease in urethralmucosa vascularity and thickness, as a result of diminished estrogen production.
Pelvic surgery Incontinence has been seen in men following surgical treatment for prostate cancer. Hysterectomy may increase a woman’s risk of incontinence.
and childbirth
N/A Pregnancy and vaginal childbirth increase the risk of incontinence.
Post-childbirth incontinence has been associated with the use of forceps, vacuum extraction, episiotomy, and pudendal anesthesia.
BPH, and prostatic obstruction secondary to BPH. Prostate cancer may also cause symptoms. N/A
Race No studies have been done in men comparing race and incidence of OAB. White women appear to be at higher risk for incontinence. Compared with black women, they may have a shorter urethra, weaker pelvic floor muscles, and a lower bladder neck.

Newman DK. Managing and Treating Urinary Incontinence. Baltimore, MD: Health Professions Press; 2002.

Brown JS, McGhan WF, Chokroverty S. Comorbidities associated with overactive bladder. Am J Manag Care. 2000;6(11 Suppl):S574–9.

Milsom I, Abrams P, Cardozo L, et al. How widespread are the symptoms of an overactive bladder and how are they managed? A population-based prevalence study. BJU Int. 2001;87(9):760–6.

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(Rev. 5/2012)

This article originally appeared on MPR