Electroacupuncture Effective for Stress UI Regardless of Age

By Reuters Staff

January 23, 2020

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Electroacupuncture (EA) is equally effective for treating stress urinary incontinence (SUI) in elderly and non-elderly women, according to a new analysis of clinical-trial data.

"The outcomes suggest that women with SUI or stress-predominant MUI (mixed urinary incontinence) show good response to EA and that the response is not correlated with age," Dr. Biyun Sun of China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in Beijing and colleagues write in BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care.

The researchers conducted two previous trials that found EA was safe and effective for treating SUI and MUI, respectively. Given that some interventions for treating SUI may be less effective in older patients, the authors performed a secondary analysis of including all 252 women with SUI from the first study and 132 from the second study who had stress-predominant MUI, for a total of 384 patients.

Among the 371 women who finished the studies, 24% were 60 or older. The study's primary outcome, a 50% or greater reduction in mean 72-hour incontinence episode frequency (IEF) from baseline to six weeks, was achieved by 57.3% of the elderly study participants and 60.7% of the younger group, which was not a statistically significant difference. Results were similar at weeks 4, 16 and 28.

Measures including 72-hour IEF, amount of urine and International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire-Short Form showed similar significant declines over time in the younger and older groups.

Adverse events occurred in 2.17% of the older patients and 1.37% of the younger patients, and none were serious.

"The outcomes suggest that women with SUI or stress-predominant MUI show good response to EA and that the response is not correlated with age," Dr. Sun and colleagues write.

"Further large-scale studies are required to provide more definitive evidence and to explore the underlying mechanisms," they conclude.

The study had no commercial funding, and the researchers report no conflicts of interest.

SOURCE: https://bit.ly/2TJxq9D BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care, online January 9, 2020.

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