This is part of a multi-year study into urinary incontinence (UI) in female veterans. The researchers wrote about the reasons for the study when it was launched in 2009: "Urogenital symptoms, including urinary incontinence and frequency, commonly affect women of reproductive age and negatively impact quality of life. Such urinary symptoms are among the top 10 problems reported to primary care providers by women."
From the abstract of this paper:
This cross-sectional study enrolled women 20 to 52 years of age registered at 2 midwestern US Veterans Affairs Medical Centers or outlying clinics within 5 years preceding study interview. Participants completed a computer-assisted telephone interview assessing urogynecologic, medical, and mental health. Multivariable analyses studied independent associations between stress and urgency UI and depression and posttraumatic stress disorder.
Nine hundred sixty-eight women mean aged 38.7 ± 8.7 years were included. Of these, 191 (19.7%) reported urgency/mixed UI and 183 (18.9%) stress UI. Post-traumatic stress disorder (odds ratio, 1.8; 95% confidence interval, 1.0–3.1) but not depression (odds ratio, 1.2; 95% confidence interval, 0.73–2.0) was associated with urgency/mixed UI. Stress UI was not associated with post-traumatic stress disorder or depression.
This research does not yet identify a reason for this increased rate, but the paper calls for additional research "to better understand the complex associations between UI and psychologic symptoms and the neurobiologic basis of urgency UI."
PTSD linked to urinary incontinence in female veterans