Urinary incontinence

  • Urinary incontinence affects up to 13% of Australian men and up to 37% of Australian women (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, 2006).
  • 65% of women and 30% of men sitting in a GP waiting room report some type of urinary incontinence, yet only 31% of these people report having sought help from a health professional
  • 70% of people with urinary leakage do not seek advice and treatment for their problem 
  • An Australian study found that over a three month period, 50% of women aged 45-59 years of age experienced some degree of mild, moderate or severe urinary incontinence
  • The prevalence of urge incontinence, which is strongly associated with prostate disease, is fairly low in younger males and increases to 30% for those aged 70-84 and 50% for those 85 years and over (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, 2006).

Faecal incontinence

  • Faecal incontinence affects up to 20% of Australian men and up to 12.9% of Australian women (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, 2006).

Elderly

  • Faecal incontinence is one of the three major causes (along with decreased mobility and dementia) for admittance to a residential aged care facility
  • Around 77% of nursing home residents in Australia are affected by incontinence
  • 40-60% of people in nursing homes will wet the bed tonight

In 2010, there are around 4.2 million Australians aged 15 years and over living in the community with urinary incontinence, and 1.3 million with faecal incontinence. In total, 4.6 million people or 21% of the community population have urinary or faecal incontinence or both.

Over half of the women living in the community with incontinence are aged under 50 years – some 1.7 million women.

incontinence statistics