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Studies show that smoking contributes to urinary urgency, frequency; exercise improves sexual function

San Francisco, CA, May 31, 2010–Healthy lifestyle choices – such as exercising regularly and not smoking– can significantly impact sexual and urinary function, according to new data being presented today at the 105th Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA). Two new studies linking the ill effects of smoking and sedentary lifestyle will be presented to reporters during a special press conference on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. PDT.

Using the FINNO Study cohort, an international team of researchers surveyed a population-based sample of more than 2,000 Finnish women, aged 18 to 79, about their smoking habits and urinary function. After controlling for sociodemographics, lifestyle, reproductive factors, comorbidities and medication use, the investigators found that active smokers and former smokers had increased urinary urgency (odds ratios 2.7 and 1.8, respectively) and frequency (odds ratios 3.0 and 1.7, respectively) compared to those who did not ever smoke. Of the women surveyed, 52.7 percent never smoked, 24.1 percent were former smokers and 23.2 percent currently smoke. 

In a separate study on the relationship between exercise and sexual function, researchers from North Carolina studied 178 healthy men at the Durham VA Medical Center using the UCLA PCI survey, which includes six questions on sexual function, and a separate survey on current exercise habits. Sexual function was calculated by converting the answers to a numeric score and exercise was calculated by converting the responses to metabolic equivalent tasks (MET) hours per week. The researchers found that men who reported exercising more often had significantly higher sexual function scores, even after adjusting for age, race, body mass index (BMI), heart disease, diabetes, and depression. 

“We all know that smoking and being sedentary are not good for our health,” said Anthony Y. Smith, an AUA spokesperson. “These data give us one more reason to stop smoking and start exercising.” 

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