Urinary incontinence (UI) affects 200 million people worldwide and is a common problem in middle-aged and older women. The symptoms of UI in women are known to have a variety of effects on their health. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the effects of changes in UI status on depressive symptoms and identify determinants of the progression of UI among South Korean women 45 years old and above.
Data were collected from the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging from 2012 to 2016. Participants were categorized into five groups by the results of a prior panel survey on UI status: “Recovered,” “Better,” “Same,” “Worse,” and “No symptoms of urinary incontinence.” We used the generalized estimating equation model and performed subgroup analyses based on age, working status, household income, perceived health status, and the number of chronic medical conditions.
A total of 3,957 middle-aged and older women were included in the analysis. Those with a change to “worse” UI status (β: 0.408, P=0.005) had higher depressive symptom scores than those who reported “no symptoms of UI.” Conversely, those with a “better” (β: -0.271, P=0.0131) or “recovered” (β: -0.518, P=0.0020) UI status had lower depressive symptom scores than those with “no symptom of UI”. Younger women and those with a “better” or “recovered” status showed a tendency of having fewer depressive symptoms. Older women and those with a “worse” status showed a tendency of having more depressive symptoms.
The cause of UI could not be evaluated. Changes in UI status were evaluated based on self-reported data.
This study showed that a change in UI status is associated with depression in middle-aged and older Korean women. It is important to consider UI management to relieve depressive symptoms.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.