PURPOSE: To examine the prospective associations between physical activity and a range of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in parous middle-aged women.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We used prospectively collected data on women participating in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Physical activity levels were self-reported at mean age of 37.2 years (SD 4.6) and translated into metabolic-equivalents hours per week (MET hours/week). Women reported symptoms of LUTS (stress incontinence, urgency incontinence and mixed incontinence) after 3 (n=4126) and 11.5 (n=2770) years of follow-up.
RESULTS: Prevalence of any LUTS after 3 and 11.5 years of follow-up (mean ages 40.5 years and 49.3 years) was 15% and 23%, respectively. Women in the highest category of physical activity (≥43.2 MET hours/week) had lower odds of stress incontinence (adjusted OR (aOR)=0.51; 95% CI 0.32, 0.80) compared to women in the lowest category (0 MET hours/week) after 3 years of follow-up. After 11.5 years of follow-up, women in the highest category of physical activity had lower odds of stress incontinence (aOR= 0.56; 95%CI: 0.39, 0.82), urgency incontinence (aOR= 0.34; 95%CI: 0.20, 0.67) and mixed incontinence (aOR= 0.34; 95%CI: 0.19, 0.63) when compared to women in the lowest physical activity category.
CONCLUSION: Greater physical activity is associated with reduced odds of LUTS, especially stress incontinence, among middle-aged parous women. Further research is necessary to examine the impact of different types of physical activity on LUTS.
- lower urinary tract symptoms
- urinary bladder
- urinary incontinence
- women’s health