Science / Medicine : Incontinence Held Treatable

<i> From Times staff and wire reports</i>

Ten million Americans suffer from urinary incontinence and most could be helped if doctors would apply proven treatments in more cases, according to a National Institutes of Health committee.

“We’re not talking about rocket science here,” said Dr. John W. Rowe, chairman of the 15-member consensus development panel. “This is something we can do tomorrow.”

One specific recommendation was for legislation requiring the manufacturers of adult diapers to carry a label message emphasizing that most incontinence is treatable and that anyone suffering from it should get a full medical evaluation.

“Many people with incontinence turn prematurely to the use of absorbent materials without having their difficulty properly diagnosed and treated,” the report said.


There are several treatments for the various causes of incontinence, which is defined in the report as “a symptom rather than a disease.”