Military exposure and urinary incontinence among American men

Academic Article


  • Purpose: We examined the association between military exposure and urinary incontinence in American men. Materials and Methods: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2005 to 2008 were merged to include 5,297 men 20 years old or older. The question, "Did you ever serve in the Armed Forces of the United States?" (yes/no) was used to assess military exposure. Urinary incontinence was categorized as any or moderate/severe urinary incontinence vs none. Because the impact of military exposure varied by age, multivariate logistic regression models were used to estimate the OR and 95% CI stratified by 3 age groups, including 55 or less, 56 to 69 and 70 years or greater. Analysis was adjusted for race/ethnicity, education, body mass index, self-reported health status, number of chronic conditions, depression and prostate conditions, the latter in men 40 years old or older. Results: Overall 23% of male respondents reported military exposure. Men with military exposure were more likely to report any urinary incontinence (18.6% vs 10.4%) and moderate/severe urinary incontinence (9.0% vs 3.1%, each p <0.001) than men without military exposure. After multivariate adjustment in men 55 years old or younger those with military exposure had 3 times greater odds of urinary incontinence (OR 3.28, 95% CI 1.38-7.77). Military exposure did not increase the odds of urinary incontinence in men 56 to 69 years old (OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.44-2.18), or 70 years old or older (OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.55-1.50). Conclusions: Prior military exposure was associated with moderate/severe urinary incontinence in American men 55 years old or younger even after controlling for known risk factors. Case finding is warranted for urinary incontinence in younger men with a history of military service. © 2014 by American Urological Association Education Research, Inc.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Vaughan CP; Johnson TM; Goode PS; Redden DT; Burgio KL; Markland AD
  • Start Page

  • 125
  • End Page

  • 129
  • Volume

  • 191
  • Issue

  • 1