The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Lose weight, gain control over incontinence

    Obesity correlates with urinary incontinence. Might weight loss be an effective treatment?

    Researchers from across the US decided to find out.

    First, the details.

    • 338 overweight and obese women with at least 10 urinary-incontinence episodes per week participated.
    • They were randomly assigned to 2 treatments.
      • A 6-month weight-loss program that included diet, exercise, and behavior modification.
      • A structured education program.

    And, the results.

    • The women on the weight loss program had 8% weight loss vs 2% with education — a significant difference.
    • After 6 months, the average weekly number of incontinence episodes decreased 47% in the weight loss group vs 28% with education alone — a significant difference.
    • The weight loss group had a significantly greater decrease in the frequency of stress-incontinence episodes vs education, but not in urge-incontinence episodes.
      • Stress incontinence occurs when involuntary pressure is put on the bladder by coughing, laughing, sneezing, or lifting or straining.
      • Urge incontinence occurs when there is involuntary contraction of the bladder muscle resulting in an urgent need to urinate accompanied by a sudden loss of urine.
    • The weight loss group had a significant and clinically relevant reduction of at least 70% in the frequency of all incontinence episodes vs the education group.

    The bottom line?
    A 6-month weight-loss program that includes diet, exercise, and behavior modification seems like an effective tool to improve control over urinary incontinence — particularly stress incontinence.

    1/29/09 18:15 JR

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