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NIDDK Launches Bladder Control Campaign For Women,
Kits Available Now

Talk may be cheap. But when it comes to treating urinary incontinence, women and their health care providers share precious few words. An estimated 11 million American women experience loss of bladder control, yet only half seek treatment. And those who do often wait years before asking their doctors about it.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recently launched the "Let's Talk About Bladder Control for Women" campaign. The print-based campaign seeks to help women and their health care providers talk about and treat urinary incontinence.

Dr. Leroy Nyberg, director of NIDDK's urology and women's health programs, explained the need for an awareness campaign on this topic: "Urinary incontinence can have a hugely negative impact on the social and economic well-being of people who try to cope without seeking treatment."

"Incontinence is never normal at any age," said Dr. Neil Resnick, chief of gerontology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

A recent study estimates that 1995 costs for incontinence care totaled more than $27 billion in people 65 and older, including nearly $10 billion for disposable absorbent products and indirect costs for lost productivity of family caregivers.

NIDDK's "Let's Talk About Bladder Control for Women" campaign breaks up the odious topic into six easy-to-read brochures and one booklet. The booklet, Bladder Control for Women, is the cornerstone of the campaign, as it includes sections on finding the right health professional, identifying the problem through tests, and treating the root cause.

Health care professionals can order kits that include all the patient materials, an illustrated bladder control diary, and a fact sheet, "What Your Female Patients Want to Know About Bladder Control." Quantities of each title can also be ordered separately.

To order these materials call (800) 891-5388. They are also available online on NIDDK's home page at http:www.niddk.nih.govUIBCWindex.htm.

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