UCSF Incontinence Expert Featured in Diabetes Information Campaign

August 13, 2004
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A diabetes prevention information campaign -- coordinated by Wal-Mart and more than 20 of its vendors -- will feature Dr. Jeanette Brown, director of the UCSF Women's Continence Center, and research on diabetes and incontinence. The campaign will include a Diabetes Expo in more than 1,500 Wal-Mart stores on Saturday, Sept. 18. At the expo, health screenings will be available and a Diabetes Resource Book -- including information on research by Brown and her colleagues -- will be distributed. An estimated 1.6 million resource books will be distributed in English, and another 200,000 in Spanish. Radio ads will air to promote the event.

People with diabetes have a 60 percent higher risk of developing incontinence. Brown and her colleagues found that walking and losing weight could help prevent diabetes and incontinence. In a recent study, women, considered "at risk" for diabetes, walked "actively" for 30 minutes a day, five days a week and lost 5 percent to 7 percent of their weight. The women in this group had a lower incidence of diabetes and incontinence over an estimated three-year period, compared to a group given medication and another group given a placebo. The final conclusions of this research, conducted at about 20 medical centers, will be reported later this year.

Brown said that type 2 diabetes, or diabetes most commonly acquired as an adult, and obesity are epidemics in this country. Obesity can lead to diabetes as well as incontinence, a problem for 50 percent of women over the age of 60 and 25 percent of younger women. It's a problem that's often kept secret because it's embarrassing, Brown said. For information on the Women's Continence Center, visit www.ucsfhealth.org/bladdercontrol. For information on diabetes, visit www.ucsfhealth.org/diabetes.