To investigate prevalence of urinary incontinence (UI) in a multi-ethnic population of pregnant women, and to analyse for possible associations of the known risk factors for UI in such a population.
Population-based cross-sectional study.
All pregnant women in three administrative city districts attending the Child Health Clinics.
Out of 823 women identified in the [corrected] first trimester, 772 (94%) [corrected] agreed to participate in the study at 28 weeks of gestation. Inclusion criteria were: healthy women at 20 weeks of gestation or less and able to communicate in Norwegian, Arabic, English, Sorani, Somali, Tamil, Turkish, Urdu or Vietnamese.
Differences between ethnic groups were tested by simple descriptive statistics. Associations were estimated by logistic regression analysis and presented as crude (cOR) and adjusted (aOR) odds ratios.
Prevalence of UI as ascertained using the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire-urinary incontinence-short form.
Prevalence rates of UI at 28 weeks of gestation were 26% for women of African origin, 36% for women of Middle Eastern origin, 40% for women of East Asian origin, 43% for women of South Asian origin and 45% for women of European/North American origin. The difference was significant between women of African and European/North American origins (P = 0.011) and between women of African and South Asian origins (P = 0.035). Age (aOR 1.05; 95% CI 1.01-1.09) and parity (aOR 2.34; 95% CI 1.66-3.28) were positively associated with the prevalence of UI in pregnancy. Women of African origin had significantly reduced odds for UI (aOR 0.42; 95% CI 0.20-0.87). East Asian and African women reported the highest perceived impact of UI in pregnancy.
A high prevalence of UI was found in a multi-ethnic pregnant population.