Presentation Authors: Joseph J. Janicki*, Royal Oak, MI, Richard D. Semba, Baltimore, MD, Michael B. Chancellor, Laura E. Lamb, Royal Oak, MI, Health ABC Study, Bethesda, MD
Introduction: Urinary incontinence is more common in older people, especially women. Androgen receptors are found throughout the pelvic floor and lower urinary tract. At menopause, women experience a decline in testosterone. However, the relationship between available testosterone in the blood and urinary incontinence in older women is not understood. Our objective was to determine if serum free testosterone levels were associated with urinary leakage in older women in a population-based cohort of aging.
Methods: The study population consisted of 3,075 healthy and well-functioning white and black men and women aged 70 to 79 years participating in the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study. Serum free and total testosterone were measured at the same time urinary health questionnaires were administered. Urinary incontinence was defined as self-reported daily urinary leakage. Data were first split by gender and then grouped by self-reported urinary leakage. A one-way ANOVA was performed, for each gender, between urinary leakage groups for both the free and total testosterone data. Additional testing was performed with pairwise Student's t-tests as the distribution of testosterone samples was approximately normal.
Results: Women, but not men, with urinary incontinence had decreased serum testosterone compared to women with urinary leakage less than once a month. There was also a trend towards higher free testosterone in serum with women with urinary leakage more than once per month or more than once per week.
Conclusions: Decreased testosterone correlates with urinary incontinence in older women. This supports the hypothesis that testosterone may play an important role in supporting the health of muscles in the pelvic floor as well as those in maintaining urethral support, which contributes to preventing involuntary leakage of urine.
Source of Funding: This research was supported by the Aikens Center for Neurology Research and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) Contracts N01-AG-6-2101; N01-AG-6-2103; N01-AG-6-2106; NIA grant R01-AG028050, and NINR grant R01-NR012459. This research was funded in part