British study points to high frequency of urinary incontinence in dystrophinopathies

Dystrophinopathies represent the largest group of neuromuscular diseases. Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most severe form compared to Becker’s muscular dystrophy (BMD). It results in a muscle deficit that begins proximally and is complicated by loss of walking around 10-12 years of age, restrictive respiratory failure and then cardiomyopathy. Advances in management have increased survival by an average of ten years. The genito-urinary complications of dystrophinopathies have so far been relatively little studied whereas their prevalence seems to be increasing due to the aging of this population.

In an article published in May 2020, British clinicians report the results of a study conducted in eleven adults (the youngest is 20) with BMD and sixteen with DMD regarding their functional impairment and their experience. The survey consisted mainly of questionnaires, two of which targeted voiding modalities and possible functional disorders. More than a third of patients (37%) complained of incontinence, of a small amount (on average), but of quite variable frequency (up to once a day for three patients, once a week in the majority cases). The authors insist on the need to systematically address the subject in consultation and to offer an appropriate management.


Urinary incontinence in men with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy. Morse CI, Higham K, Bostock EL, Jacques MF. PLoS One. 2020 (Mai). 15(5):e0233527.