Associations between Socioeconomic Status and Urge Urinary Incontinence: An Analysis of NHANES 2005 to 2016

Justin A. Lee, Tanya S. Johns, Michal L. Melamed, Laura Tellechea, Melissa Laudano, Joshua M. Stern, Nitya E. Abraham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Purpose:Urge urinary incontinence significantly impacts quality of life. We investigated the association between urge urinary incontinence and socioeconomic status in a nationally representative adult population.Materials and Methods:We analyzed the 2005 to 2016 NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), a United States population based, cross-sectional study. Urge urinary incontinence was determined by self-report of leaking urine before reaching the toilet. Socioeconomic status was represented by the poverty income ratio, which reflects the family income relative to poverty thresholds specific to that year and household size. Survey weighted logistic regression models were used to analyze the relationship between socioeconomic status and the poverty income ratio. Multiplicative terms were applied to test for interaction in prespecified subgroups of interest.Results:A total of 25,553 participants were included in the final analysis, representing 180 million people in the United States. Of the participants 19.4% reported any urge urinary incontinence, 4.2% reported weekly urge urinary incontinence and 1.6% reported daily urge urinary incontinence. In the fully adjusted multivariable models those with a poverty income ratio less than 2.00 showed significantly higher odds of any urge urinary incontinence compared to the group with a poverty income ratio of 2.00 or greater (OR 1.17, 95% CI 1.05-1.30, p=0.003). There was increasing strength of association for weekly and daily urge urinary incontinence (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.12-1.55, p <0.001, and OR 1.60, 95% CI 1.23-2.09, p=0.001, respectively). Individual interaction analyses revealed no significant effect of female gender, age greater than 50 years, body mass index 30 kg/m2 or greater, or less than a high school education on the association of urge urinary incontinence with the poverty income ratio.Conclusions:This study revealed a significant association between urge urinary incontinence and socioeconomic status after meaningful adjustment for covariates. Health care interventions targeting low socioeconomic status individuals with urge urinary incontinence are needed to address this disparity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-384
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • epidemiology
  • social determinants of health
  • socioeconomic factors
  • urge
  • urinary bladder
  • urinary incontinence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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