It used to be a common statistic that 1 in 3 elderly people experienced in continence. But the US Centers for Disease Control released a study that shows it's far worse than thought.
"We found that half the population experienced urinary leakage or accidental bowel leakage, and about 25 percent had moderate, severe or very severe urinary leakage. And about 8 percent had moderate, severe or very severe bowel leakage," said lead researcher Yelena Gorina, a statistician at the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention's National Centre for Health Statistics.
Women twice as likely to suffer from bladder incontinence.
About 50 percent of women and 25 percent of men said they suffered from bladder incontinence. White women were almost twice as likely to have bladder incontinence compared with black women, the researchers noted.
For people getting home health care, there was no significant difference in rates of incontinence by age, race and education. No matter where a patient lived, 45 percent of those getting home health care reported having difficulty with bladder and/or bowel control.
Women getting home health care were 1.7 times more likely to have bladder incontinence compared with men, the investigators found.
The CDC notes that there is a significant cost linked with incontinence. For example, in 2010, the average cost for bowel incontinence was estimated at $4,100 per person.