By 2ndactt/ Photo by Andres Ayrton on

Aging is an easy excuse for a lot of things. People blame it for forgetfulness, stubbornness, bad temper, or even urine incontinence– the involuntary passing of urine that often causes physical or emotional distress to those who suffer.

People don’t realize that they are forgetful because they are not paying attention to what they do. We are bad-tempered and stubborn, not because we are getting old but because we were like that even when we were younger. And now, a new study suggests that urine incontinence may have more to do with how much we weigh than how old we are.

The study, published in Nature online in October 2023, analyzed data from 200,717 participants from 21 countries, including the US, UK, and European countries. Participants of the research were all older than 50 years old and had their body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference measured. 

World Health Organization (WHO) defines BMI as “a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of the person’s height in meters (kg/m2)”. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is regarded as a healthy range for adults. A waist circumference of less than 94 cm (37 inches) for men and less than 80 cm (31.5 inches) for women is considered healthy, according to the Heart Foundation of New Zealand. 

*Measure your BMI if you use the imperial system.*

In addition to measuring BMI and waist circumference, researchers took into account factors that could affect urine incontinence, such as sociodemographic status, lifestyle, and history of disease. They found that higher BMI and waist circumference were associated with higher risk of urine incontinence in both men and women. Moreover, they found that weight loss interventions could effectively reduce urine incontinence, particularly in older females who were overweight and older males with obesity.

Therefore, we should control our weight first instead of blaming aging for everything, even urine incontinence.


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