U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration

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Urologic Disorders

Urologic disorders encompass illnesses and diseases of the genitourinary tract. Some examples of such disorders include urinary incontinence, urinary tract infection, bladder prolapse, urolithiasis (kidney stones), and kidney and bladder cancer. Many of these disorders affect a large number of adult women; annual medical expenditures for urinary incontinence and urinary tract infections among adult women total more than $458 million and $2.5 billion, respectively. These same illnesses accounted for $10.3 million and $1 billion in expenditures, respectively, for adult men.1

Urinary incontinence is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in the United States and is generally more common among women than men.1 In 2005–2008, 40.7 percent of women and 12.5 percent of men aged 20 years and older reported that they ever had urinary leakage (data not shown).

The prevalence of urinary incontinence among women varies by race and ethnicity, as well as age. More than 43 percent of non- Hispanic White women and 39.0 percent of Mexican American women reported urinary leakage in 2005–2008, compared to 30.6 percent of non-Hispanic Black and 31.6 percent of Hispanic women other than Mexican American (data not shown). Among Mexican American and non-Hispanic Black women, those aged 45–64 years were most likely to report urinary leakage (56.1 and 42.3 percent, respectively). Among non-Hispanic White women, more than 54 percent of those aged 45–64 and 65 years and older also reported urinary leakage.

Among women with urinary leakage, 39.2 percent reported that it occurred less than once a month, while 29.4 percent reported occurrence a few times a month. More than 16 percent of those with urinary leakage reported that it occurred every day or night, and 15.0 percent experienced leakage a few times a week.

1 National Institutes for Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse.  Kidney and Urologic Diseases Statistics for the United States.  [online]  NIH Publication No. 09-3895.  February 2009.  http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/kustats/#15, accessed 12/18/09.

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