Trends and Racial Disparities in the Prevalence of Urinary Incontinence Among Men in the USA, 2001–2020

Chao Cao, Christie Zhang, Cynthia Sriskandarajah, Tianlin Xu, Geoffrey Gotto, Siobhan Sutcliffe, Lin Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Male urinary incontinence (UI) affects quality of life and leads to a significant burden to the health care system. However, the contemporary prevalence and recent trends in UI and its subtypes among US men remain unknown. Objective: We evaluated 20-yr trends in the prevalence of UI and its subtype in US men aged ≥20 yr. Design, setting, and participants: A serial, cross-sectional analysis of the US nationally representative data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey among men from 2001 to 2020. Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: Prevalence of any, stress, urgency and overflow UI were derived. The frequency of UI was assessed in four categories: less than one time per month, a few times per month, a few times per week, and every day and/or night. All analyses were conducted using sample weights, stratification, and clustering of the complex sampling design. Sociodemographic and lifestyle correlates of UI over time were identified using multivariable logistic regressions. Results and limitations: Data on 22 994 US men (mean age, 46.6 yr [standard error, 0.20]; weighted population, 848 642 150) were analyzed. The prevalence of any UI increased from 2001–2002 (11.5% [95% confidence interval {CI}, 10.0–13.0]) to 2017–2020 (19.3% [95% CI, 17.2–21.3]), driven by urgency (from 9.0% [95% CI, 7.5–10.4]) to 15.2% [95% CI, 13.4–16.9]) and overflow UI (from 3.3% [95% CI, 2.7–4.0] to 5.5% [95% CI, 4.5–6.4]; all p for trend < 0.01). UI affects 38.5% US men ≥60 yr of age, with increasing trends in urgency and overflow UI and a decreasing trend in stress UI (all p for trend < 0.05). Racial/ethnic disparities were noted, with patterns differed by UI subtype. Compared with non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black men were more likely to report urgency UI (odds ratio [OR], 1.94 [95% CI, 1.71–2.20]). Hispanic men were more likely to report urgency UI (OR, 1.33 [95% CI, 1.14–1.56]), but less likely to report stress (OR, 0.74 [95% CI, 0.56–0.98]) and overflow (OR, 0.75 [95% CI, 0.58–0.98]) UI. Men with higher body mass index and current smokers were more likely to report any, stress, and urgency UI than their counterparts. A higher prevalence of any UI was found in men with low family poverty ratios and chronic diseases, and those who were physically inactive. Conclusions: From 2001 to 2020, the overall prevalence of UI increased among US men, particularly for urgency and overflow UI. Patient summary: In this report, we looked at the prevalence of urinary incontinence among US men in a nationally representative sample. We found that urinary incontinence increased in the past 20 yr driving by the urgency and overflow urinary incontinence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1758-1767
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Urology Focus
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • Aging
  • Disparities
  • Male urinary incontinence
  • National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
  • Trend analyses


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