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Prevalence of urinary incontinence in Brazilian para athletes
  1. Pê Nascimento Barbosa1,
  2. Marina Petter Rodrigues2,
  3. Anselmo de Athayde Costa e Silva1,
  4. Carla Iasmin Lima Lemos3,
  5. Marília Passos Magno e Silva1
  1. 1Human Movement Sciences Graduate Program, Institute of Health Sciences, Federal University of Pará, Belém, Pará, Brazil
  2. 2School of Rehabilitation Science, Faculty of Health Science, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3Paulista School of Medicine, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
  1. Correspondence to MSc. Pê Nascimento Barbosa, Instituto de Ciências da Saúde - Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências do Movimento Humano, Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém, Pará 66050-160, Brazil; fisiop00{at}


Objective To describe the prevalence of urinary incontinence (UI) in para athletes in Brazil.

Methods This is a cross-sectional study with Brazilian para athletes with physical impairments from all para sports. The data from 86 participants of both sexes (60 males and 26 females) were collected through an online survey that gathered sociodemographic data and the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire-Urinary Incontinence Short Form, from March to July 2023.

Results The prevalence of UI was 45.3% (n=39), with the average impact on quality of life scored at 6.1±3.5 on a scale of 0–10. Most para athletes reported moderate (43.5%) or severe (38.4%) symptoms. The most common type was mixed UI (46.1%), with an average of 3±1.9 episodes of urinary loss per athlete in the last 4 weeks. Adjusted Poisson regression (controlling for sex, age and level of competition) revealed that para athletes with orthopaedic impairments had a 58% lower prevalence of UI (prevalence ratio=0.42; 95% CI 0.24, 0.83) compared with those with neurological impairments. Furthermore, ordinal regression indicated that para athletes with neurological impairments were 147% more likely to experience a progression from ‘severe’ to ‘very severe’ UI (OR=2.47; 95% CI 1.59, 3.93).

Conclusions UI is highly prevalent among para athletes, particularly those with neurological impairments, underscoring the need for specialised genitourinary healthcare and the need for further treatment and monitoring of the condition. There is a critical need to raise awareness among coaches, healthcare providers and the athletes themselves about UI and its impact to foster the comprehensive well-being of these athletes.

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Para-Athletes
  • Disabled Persons
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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  • Collaborators Professor Dr Alex Harley Crisp.

  • Contributors Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data for the work: PNB, MPMS. Drafting the work or reviewing it critically for important intellectual content: PNB, MPMS, AACS, CILL, MPR. Final approval of the version to be published: PNB, MPMS, AACS, CILL, MPR. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved: PNB, MPMS, AACS, CILL, MPR. The guarantor of this work is MPMS, a professor in the Human Movement Sciences Graduate Program (PPGCMH) at the Federal University of Pará (UFPa). Conceptualisation: PNB and MPMS. Methodology: PNB, CILL and MPMS. Writing—original draft preparation: PNB and MPMS. Writing—review and editing: MPMS, AACS, MRP, CILL. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript. Copilot, we used to support the translation of the manuscript.

  • Funding Funding from CAPES (Foundation for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel) through the Master's Scholarship and from the Federal University of Pará through the Pro-Rectory for Research and Postgraduate Studies (PROPESP).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research. Refer to the Methods section for further details.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.