Sept. 30, 2010 -- Excess caffeine increases the likelihood of urinary incontinence in women, according to a new study that echoes the findings of previous research.
''Women who consume high levels of caffeine are 70% more likely to have urinary incontinence than women who don't," says Jon Gleason, MD, an instructor and fellow at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical School's Division of Women's Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery.
He is slated to present the findings Friday at the American Urogynecologic Society's annual meeting in Long Beach, Calif.
Caffeine sources include coffee, tea, beverages, foods, and some pharmaceuticals.
In Gleason’s study, women who reported taking in 329 milligrams of caffeine a day -- about three cups of coffee -- or more had a 70% higher likelihood of having the bladder problem.
Urinary incontinence, or the unintentional loss of urine, affects more than 13 million Americans, mostly women. Women are most likely to develop it either during pregnancy or childbirth or with menopause and its hormonal changes, due to pelvic muscle weakness. But it's not a natural consequence of aging, experts say.