If you or someone you care for experiences bladder or bowel control problems, you're certainly not alone. In fact, over 4.8 million Australians experience bladder or bowel control problems.
The statistics below demonstrate the widespread nature of incontinence across Australia:
- Urinary incontinence affects up to 13% of Australian men and up to 37% of Australian women (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, 2006).
- 65% of women and 30% of men sitting in a GP waiting room report some type of urinary incontinence, yet only 31% of these people report having sought help from a health professional (Byles & Chiarelli, 2003: Help seeking for urinary incontinence: a survey of those attending GP waiting rooms, Australian and New Zealand Continence Journal).
- 70% of people with urinary leakage do not seek advice and treatment for their problem (Millard, 1998: The prevalence of urinary icontinence in Australia, Australian and New Zealand Continence Journal).
- An Australian study found that over a three month period, 50% of women aged 45-59 years of age experienced some degree of mild, moderate or severe urinary incontinence (Millard, 1998: The prevalence of urinary icontinence in Australia, Australian and New Zealand Continence Journal).
- The prevalence of urge incontinence, which is strongly associated with prostate disease, is fairly low in younger males and increases to 30% for those aged 70-84 and 50% for those 85 years and over (Australian Instiute of Health and Welfare report, 2006).
- Faecal incontinence affects up to 20% of Australian men and up to 12.9% of Australian women (Australian Instiute of Health and Welfare report, 2006).
- Faecal incontinence is one of the three major causes (along with decreased mobility and dementia) for admittance to a residential aged care facility (Norton et al: Incontinence: Basics and Evaluation, 2002).
- Around 77% of nursing home residents in Australia are affected by incontinence (Steel & Fonda 1995: Minimising the cost of urinary incontinence in nursing homes, Pharmacoeconomics).
- 40-60% of people in nursing homes will wet the bed tonight (Steel & Fonda 1995: Minimising the cost of urinary incontinence in nursing homes, Pharmacoeconomics).
The Deloitte Access Economics report The economic impact of incontinence in Australia (920KB) explores the current prevalence and economic impact of incontinence in Australia, and provides an outline of the future projected growth of this burden.
Please email the Continence Foundation to obtain the reference list.
Call us today if you need support, or require more information on incontinence and our range of available continence products.