Research & Articles


Research: Risk of Urinary Incontinence Following Prostatectomy: The Role of Physical Activity and Obesity

In a February 2010 report in the Journal of Urology, Risk of Urinary Incontinence Following Prostatectomy: The Role of Physical Activity and Obesity, researchers from Washington University School of Medicine evaluated the association of obesity and lack of physical activity with urinary incontinence in a sample of men who had undergone radical prostatectomy. Of the over 680 men in the study, researchers found that at 6 weeks after surgery 59% (405) of men were incontinent, defined as any pad use. At 58 weeks after surgery 22% (165) of men were incontinent. At 58 weeks incontinence was more prevalent in men who were obese and physically inactive (59% incontinent). Physical activity may offset some of the negative consequences of being obese because the prevalence of incontinence at 58 weeks was similar in the obese and active (25% incontinent), and nonobese and inactive (24% incontinent) men. The best outcomes were in men who were nonobese and physically active (16% incontinent). Men who were not obese and were active were 26% less likely to be incontinent than men who were obese and inactive. A stated conclusion: “Interventions aimed at increasing physical activity and decreasing weight in patients with prostate cancer may improve quality of life by offsetting the negative side effects of treatment.”

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