ORLANDO, FL, May 18, 2008 – A greater likelihood of falling may be linked to lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in elderly men. Falls are a common source of preventable morbidity in the elderly population and, according to research presented today at the 103rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA), elderly men with moderate or severe LUTS are at a significantly greater risk for falls, and the risk dramatically increases as the symptoms worsen. Symptoms most strongly associated with falling included urinary urgency, the need to push or strain to initiate urination, nocturia and urinary frequency. Urological medications to treat the symptoms did not decrease the risk. Therefore, screening for LUTS may only help identify at-risk individuals. Researchers presented their findings to reporters in a special press conference on May 19, 2008 at 9:00 a.m.
Injuries, as a result of a fall, often lead to temporary or permanent nursing care. Consequently, the diagnosis and awareness of LUTS as a risk factor should help caregivers and patients take the necessary precautions to prevent falls. Wearing a protective pad and ensuring a clear path to the restroom may also help prevent falls.
Participants in the study included community-dwelling men aged 65 years or older who were evaluated every six months for urinary symptoms, including urgency, nocturia, urinary frequency, and the need to push or strain to initiate urination. Those with moderate symptoms had a 21 percent and those with severe symptoms had a 63 percent increased risk for falling at least twice within one year.
In addition to the author, Tomas L. Griebling, M.D., will be on hand to answer questions and provide third-party perspective on the study.
NOTE TO REPORTERS: Experts are available to discuss these studies outside normal briefing times. To arrange an interview with an expert, please contact the AUA Communications Office at the number above or e-mail Wendy Isett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parsons JK, Mougey J, Lambert L, Wilt TJ, Fink H, Garzotto M, et al: Lower urinary tract symptoms and risk of falls in older men. J Urol, suppl., 2008; 179: 140, abstract 394.
About the American Urological Association: Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is the pre-eminent professional organization for urologists, with more than 15,000 members throughout the world. An educational nonprofit organization, the AUA pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care by carrying out a wide variety of programs for members and their patients, including UrologyHealth.org, an award-winning on-line patient education resource, and the American Urological Association Foundation, Inc
Wendy Waldsachs Isett, AUA