Tackling a Hidden Health Issue

For Immediate Release

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Milwaukee, WI (January, 2004) - The January 2004 Journal Supplement of Gastroenterology, the journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), published the proceedings of a landmark conference about treatment of incontinence sponsored by the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD).

The November 2002 conference, Advancing the Treatment of Fecal and Urinary Incontinence Through Research: Trial Design, Outcome Measures, and Research Priorities, received support from the National Institutes of Health. One hundred and eighty people from various disciplines involved in the treatment of and advocacy for incontinent people attended the conference.

Incontinence can be a debilitating disorder associated with high healthcare costs and lost productivity. The symptoms of incontinence, loss of bowel or bladder control, make it difficult to talk about and treat. People may struggle to hide it, even from their own doctors.

"People with incontinence differ widely, but a common denominator is that the disorder affects nearly every aspect of their daily lives," said Nancy Norton of IFFGD. "It arises due to many causes and occurs in men and women at any age."

Bowel incontinence affects 2% to 17% of people in the community; urinary incontinence daily affects an estimated 2.6% of women. Despite the high prevalence treatment options remain limited and new research is very much needed.

It is hoped this conference will stimulate interest in advancing new treatments. The published proceedings summarize what is now known about the causes and treatment of incontinence, identify research priorities for treatment over the next 5 to 10 years, and review current measures and designs for research.

The entire contents of the journal supplement can be accessed at no charge by going to IFFGD's web site at www.aboutIncontinence.org and clicking on the Gastroenterology Supplement link.

IFFGD is a nonprofit education and research organization. Founded in 1991, the IFFGD has gained worldwide attention by addressing difficult and often stigmatized digestive health issues. For more information phone 888-964-2001 or visit www.iffgd.org