Prevalence of urinary incontinence among elite athletes of both sexes.

To determine the prevalence of urinary incontinence (UI) among elite athletes and to compare prevalences between sexes and across different sports modalities.

This was a cross-sectional, observational study conducted in 754 elite athletes (455 women or girls and 299 men or boys). Participants completed a questionnaire to collect self-reported anthropometric measures, medical history and sport-related data, and the questionnaires International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire-UI Short-Form (ICQ-UI SF), Three Incontinence Questions (3IQ) and Incontinence Severity Index (ISI).

According to replies to the ICQ-UI SF questionnaire, 33% of the athletes had UI at a mean age of 23.75±7.74 years. Prevalences were 45.1% in female compared to 14.7% male athletes (p<0.001) such that females were 5.45 times more likely to suffer this condition. In 59.9%, incontinence was stress UI. In 30.9%, UI was described as moderate to severe (according to ISI), and quality of life related to UI was scored 4.35±2.98 out of 10 (ICQ-UI SF). 22.7% reported they had experienced urine leakage while training; in 40.5% this occurred when jumping, in 19.6% while running and in 20.2% in different situations.

The prevalence of UI observed in elite athletes was 33%. This prevalence was greater in females and also varied according to the sport practised.

Journal of science and medicine in sport. 2020 Oct 01 [Epub ahead of print]

Elena Sonsoles Rodríguez-López, Sofía Olivia Calvo-Moreno, Ángel Basas-García, Fernando Gutierrez-Ortega, Jesús Guodemar-Pérez, María Barbaño Acevedo-Gómez

Department of Physiotherapy, Universidad Camilo José Cela, Spain. Electronic address: ., Department of Physiotherapy, Universidad Camilo José Cela, Spain., Department of Physiotherapy, Royal Spanish Athletics Federation, Spain., Medical Center Director, Department of Health and Sports. Spanish Agency for the Protection of Health in Sports, Spain., Department of Physiotherapy, Spanish Triathlon Federation, Spain.

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