(HealthDay News) — For obese women with prevalent urinary incontinence, the frequency of urinary incontinence episodes is reduced during 3 years of follow-up after bariatric surgery, according to a study presented at the American Urogynecologic Society and the International Urogynecological Association 2014 Scientific Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Leslee Subak, MD, from the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, and colleagues examined the change in the frequency of urinary incontinence episodes among severely obese women after bariatric surgery. A total of 1,565 women completed a self-administered urinary incontinence questionnaire to examine urinry incontinence prevalence at baseline and at one or more annual follow-up assessments within 3 years.

The researchers found that 49% of the women had prevalent urinary incontinence at baseline, and they reported an average of 10.9 urinary incontinence episodes per week. Most underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (70%) or adjustable gastric banding (25%).

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At all follow-up time points, there were significantly fewer urinary incontinence episodes than at baseline, although episode frequency increased after year 1 (total urinary incontinence episodes per week, 2.7, 4.0, and 4.0 at years 1, 2 and 3, respectively). Remission was also higher at year 1 (70.3%) than at year 2 or 3 (61.7% and 60.6%, respectively).

Younger age correlated with reduced urinary incontinence frequency and urinary incontinence remission (OR per 10 years younger, 1.43 and 1.52, respectively). Correlations were also seen for greater weight loss (ORs per 5% weight loss, 1.35 and 1.31, respectively).

“Improvement in UI appears to be another important benefit of bariatric surgery,” the researchers wrote.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and nutrition industries.