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Two studies show nocturia is associated with an increased risk for mortality

San Francisco, CA, May 30, 2010–Nighttime urination (nocturia) is a predictor of mortality in patients of all ages, according to two new studies being presented during the 105th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association in San Francisco. Study authors will share findings with members of the media during a special panel press conference on Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. PDT. 

Nocturia, defined as two or more episodes of urination per night, increases with age, and is associated with a number of co-morbidities, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and antidepressant use. The data being presented reflect both the younger and older populations, and the association of nighttime voiding with mortality.

The first study, conducted by researchers at the New England Research Institutes in Watertown, MA, showed that, even after adjusting for recognized co-morbidities associated with nighttime voiding, both men and women with nocturia had an increased risk of mortality compared to those without nocturia. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III, conducted between 1988 and 1994) researchers found an association of greater magnitude between nocturia and mortality in men and women ages 20-64 rather than in the 65 years and older age group. An increased number of voiding episodes was associated with an increase in mortality risk. This study suggests that development of related comorbid conditions, unrecognized medical conditions, and/or sleep disruption could be contributing factors, and that all patients with nocturia should consider talking with their physicians.

The second study further solidifies the association between nocturia and mortality in the elderly. A research team from Japan, that just last year determined that nocturia was associated with an increased risk of death in the elderly, has now conducted a study showing that as nighttime urination becomes more frequent, the risk of mortality increases for the elderly. Investigators conducted a population-based cross-sectional survey of 788 subjects, aged 70-97 years, living in an urban district of north Japan and cross-referenced that information with data from the national health insurance system over the course of five years. Even after adjusting the data to accommodate several factors that might impact mortality risk, the association between the frequency of nocturia and the risk of mortality persisted.

“These studies show that not only does the association between nocturia and mortality exist, but it does not only affect the elderly,” said AUA spokesman Tomas L. Griebling, MD, MPH. “Patients of any age suffering from nocturia should talk to a physician and consider making sure there is a clear and lighted path to the restroom at night to prevent injuries and falls.”

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 

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 16,000 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.

Wendy Isett, AUA