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In men and women with COPD the presence of urinary incontinence is associated with poorer quality of life
  1. Diane K Newman
  1. Division of Urology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to : Dr Diane K Newman
    Division of Urology, University of Pennsylvania, 3rd Floor West Perelman Pavilion, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA; diane.newman{at}

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Implications for practice and research

  • The combination of coughing, as a result of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and urinary incontinence (UI), can adversely affect quality of life.

  • Healthcare providers must actively screen for UI in patients who smoke, have a chronic cough and/or who are diagnosed with COPD, as early treatment may improve quality of life.


It is estimated that worldwide, over 200 million people are living with UI.1 UI is linked to an increase in social detachment, falls and fractures, depression, decreased ability to concentrate, increased anxiety, and admissions to nursing homes, resulting in immeasurable economic and quality-of-life deficits. …

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  • Competing interests None.