A recent study suggests that elderly women who have urinary incontinence during the day are at increased risk of falls at night, if they also wet the bed.
The reason may be that women who wet the bed are frailer or in poorer physical or mental health than their peers who don’t have a bedwetting problem, researchers note in the Journal of Urology.
“The study data suggested that poorer overall physical functioning was associated with falls and that incontinence was a marker for poor physical functioning,” said Glenn Brassington, a researcher at Sonoma State University who wasn’t involved in the study.
While not surprising, the results add to a growing body of evidence supporting efforts to reduce nighttime awakening and improve patients’ ability to safely navigate from bed to bathroom and back, Brassington said by email.
“The take-home message for me is that a multi-pronged approach including medical management, strengthening, health behaviors, and creating a safe environment will reduce falls and promote independent living and quality of life of older adults – women and men,” Brassington added.
Bedwetting, also known as nocturnal enuresis, is an uncontrollable leakage of urine while asleep beyond the age of five years. Bedwetting is a common childhood condition with approximately 5–10% of 7 year-olds regularly wetting their beds and the problem may persist into teenage and adulthood. To raise awareness of this condition, Saturday 17th October is World Bed Wetting Day. You can read more about Nocturnal Enuresis on our website – http://www.allaboutincontinence.co.uk/nocturnal-enuresis
A new study, carried out in Turkey found that Nocturia affects around one-third of women of reproductive age, highlighting that the condition is not confined to elderly individuals.
The study, which appears in the Korean Journal of Urology also found that nocturia was significantly associated with lower urinary tract symptoms, being present in three-quarters of women with overactive bladder.
The survey was completed by 1636 mothers of primary school children, their average age was 34.4 years (range 20–46 years) and 567 (34.7%) had nocturia, based on their responses to the questionnaire. In total, 12.8% of the women reported two or more voidings per night.
The prevalence of nocturia increased with increasing age, body mass, the number of pregnancies the women had experienced and number of children delivered. Statistical analysis identified three main risk factors for nocturia – a higher number of deliveries, age and a history of nocturnal enuresis.
Nocturia was significantly more common in women with other urinary symptoms and disorders. It was present in 68.0%, 73.3%, 73.5% and 76.2% in women with urge incontinence, frequency, urgency and overactive bladder, respectively.
The researchers, say their study confirms that age is a major risk factor for nocturia, with the prevalence rising from 32% in women aged 20–30 years to 46% in those aged 41–50 years.
There were several reasons that contributed to age-related nocturia, the authors noted, including nocturnal polyuria and decreased nocturnal bladder capacity.
However, the study also reveals the high burden of nocturia among younger women and an association with pregnancy and childbirth; nocturia in younger women may be driven by a decline in functional bladder capacity and urogenital prolapse.
The authors of the study noted that the consequences of nocturia, such as sleep disorders, mood disturbances, reduced quality of life and distractibility can be seen in young adults. The therefore conclude that “nocturia should be queried about and should be treated if necessary.”
You can read more about Nocturnal Enuresis here.