Prior to the year 2000, there were almost no published data on the prevalence of FI. Since then, there have been a number of reports from population-based samples[9,14,15] as well as clinical samples,[16,17] and there are now systematic reviews[2,18,19] and a meta-analysis. Nevertheless, the reported prevalence estimates still vary in a wide range. Factors contributing to this variability include differences in case definition (anal incontinence vs FI), differences in the population studied, especially the age of the sample, and whether nursing home residents are included. Reports of the prevalence of FI from population-based studies of community-dwelling adults range from 3 to 17%[14,15] depending on the age of the cohort, with prevalence in women increasing from 6% in those younger than 40 years to 15% in women older than 65 years. The female:male ratio is estimated to be 3:2.
The prevalence of FI may be underestimated – less than a third of people who identify themselves as having FI in surveys say they have reported this to their doctor and, therefore, it is possible that some people might be reluctant to report FI in surveys as well.
Women's Health. 2008;4(5):517-528. © 2008 Future Medicine Ltd.
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Cite this: Fecal Incontinence in Women: Causes and Treatment - Medscape - Sep 01, 2008.