Prevalence and predictive factors of fecal incontinence

Hye Won Kang, Hye Kyung Jung, Kyoung Joo Kwon, Eun Mi Song, Ju Young Choi, Seong Eun Kim, Ki Nam Shim, Sung Ae Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Background/Aims: Most previous epidemiologic studies about fecal incontinence were performed in specific populations in Korea. We aimed to estimate the prevalence and predictive factors of fecal incontinence in adult Korean population, both men and women aged 20 years and over. Methods: Subjects who had undergone medical check-up for health screening were enrolled. They completed the structured questionnaires, including demographics, gastrointestinal symptoms, medical and social histories, and also about their bowel habits. Logistic regression models were constructed to identify the predictive factors for having fecal incontinence. Results: Among the total of 1,149 subjects (mean age, 44.8 ± 10.2 years; 648 males), the overall prevalence of fecal incontinence was 6.4%, while the older group (≤ 50 years old) showed the higher prevalence than the younger group (> 50 years old) (10.4% vs 4.9%, P = 0.001) without gender difference. Most patients had mild fecal incontinence in 78.4%. By multivariate analysis, old ages (Odd ratio [OR], 3.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.9-5.2; P < 0.001), watery stool (OR, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.5-4.9; P = 0.001) and functional diarrhea (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.4-5.4; P = 0.004) were found to be independent predictors for fecal incontinence. Conclusions: The prevalence of fecal incontinence in Korean adults was 6.4%, and it was significantly more prevalent in older people without any gender difference. Aging and diarrhea were independent predictive factors of fecal incontinence. Therefore, proper control of the bowel pattern would lead to the prevention of fecal incontinence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-93
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Epidemiology
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Prevalence
  • Risk factors


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