Objective: to examine the relationship between incontinence and mortality i
n elderly people living at home.
Design: of the randomly selected people aged 65 years and older living in S
ettsu city, Osaka in October 1992, 1405 were contacted and constituted the
study cohort. Follow-up for 42 months was completed for 1318 (93.8%; 1129 a
live, 189 dead).
Measures: data on general health status, history of health management, psyc
hosocial conditions and urinary and faecal incontinence were collected by i
nterview during home visits at the time of enrolment.
Results: from the Kaplan-Meier analysis, the estimated survival rates decre
ased with a decline in continence in both the 65-74 and 75 years and older
age groups. From the Cox proportional hazards model, unadjusted hazard rati
os Of minor, moderate and severe incontinence for mortality, compared with
continence, were 2.27, 2.96 and 5.94, respectively. Multivariate analysis y
ielded adjusted hazard ratios of minor, moderate and severe incontinence of
0.99, 1.17 and 1.91, respectively, leaving severe incontinence as the sign
ificant factor, when other indicators are compelled.
Conclusions: incontinence is related to mortality and severe incontinence r
epresents an increased risk factor for mortality in elderly people living a