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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.

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


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