Your genes determine a lot, the color of your eyes, your hair, they carry information that makes you who you are and what you look like: curly or straight hair, long or short legs, even how you might smile or laugh! Your genes dictate a lot of other factors as well such as your predisposition for certain disorders and diseases. Nearly 10 million Americans suffer from urinary incontinence or overactive bladder. Here is some information to consider about how your genes play a role in urinary incontinence, according to Science Daily.
Genetic factors can explain half of people’s susceptibility to urinary incontinence, a study of twins at the University of Gothenburg and Karolinska Institute (Sweden) reveals. Urinary incontinence is very common, especially among women, with around one in three affected at some point in life. Incontinence, overactive bladder and other lower urinary tract symptoms can be caused by factors such as old age, excess weight, pregnancy and childbirth, as well as stroke and other neurological disorders.
“With urinary incontinence, we saw that just over half of the variation (51%) can be explained by genetic factors,” says Anna Lena Wennberg, one of the researchers behind the study. “This doesn’t mean that half of all people with urinary incontinence inherit it from their parents, but that around 50% of people’s susceptibility to urinary incontinence can be explained by their genes.”
Genes also turned out to be significant for nocturia — the need to get up in the night to urinate. In this case, around a third (34%) of the variation has a genetic explanation.
Wennberg does not believe that there is a single incontinence gene, rather that a number of different genes play a role. These genes combine with various environmental factors or cause disorders which, in turn, increase the risk of urinary incontinence.
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