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Those who urinate frequently at night have an increased risk of premature death, studies say

May 31, 2010 |  2:33 pm

Men and women who wake up frequently at night to urinate have an increased risk of premature death independent of the risk from disorders, such as an enlarged prostate, that are known to cause increased nighttime urination, researchers said Sunday. The risk is highest for young men and women, then declines with advancing age but still remains elevated, two groups reported at a San Francisco meeting of the American Urological Assn. The findings suggest that there may be other as-yet-unknown disorders that cause such nighttime urination, formally known as nocturia.

In one study, epidemiologist Varant Kupelian of the New England Research Institutes in Watertown, Mass., and his colleagues studied data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted from 1988 to 1994, and linked the information to death certificates in the National Death Index. Their analysis included a sample of 15,988 men and women over the age of 20.

They found that the overall incidence of nocturia, defined as two or more episodes per night, was 15.5% among men and 20.9% among women. For the whole group, taking into account such confounding factors as an enlarged prostate, they found that nocturia was associated with a 49% increased risk of premature death in men and a 32% increased risk in women.  Men between the ages of 20 and 49 had 2.56 times the normal risk, while women in that age group had a 10% increase. The highest-risk group among women was for ages 50 to 64, a 56% increase.

There is no clear explanation for the finding, Kupelian said at a news conference. "Chronic sleep loss adversely affects metabolic and endocrine function. Nocturia may be a marker of impending morbidity, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Nocturia may also be a marker of overall health."

In the second study, researchers at the Tohoku University School of Medicine in Sendai, Japan, studied 788 men and women age 70 and older in an urban district of northern Japan. Controlling for other variables, they found that the risk of death increased with the number of times a person rose during the night, with those rising four or more times having 3.6 times the normal risk.

The data show that the relationship between nocturia and premature mortality does not only affect the elderly, said Dr. Tomas L. Griebling, a spokesman for the urology association. People who suffer from the disorder at any age should alert  their physician to the problem, he said.

-- Thomas H. Maugh II

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Comments (4)

Here is the link to the meeting abstract of the first study:

Notice that in the 20-49 year-old age group, the adjusted hazard ratio is 2.56 for men but only 1.10 for women. What could explain this? Here is one guess: Many of these men probably have to get up to pee several times a night because of all the beer they drank earlier in the evening. This same group of men is much more likely to get themselves killed in traffic accidents and homicides.

Hmm, I wonder why these people need to get up more frequently to urinate. Is it because the bladder is full, or could something in the urine be irritating the bladder?

In the first instance, a full bladder, maybe they drink a lot of fluid shortly before going to sleep. A whole lot of liquid in, even plain water, is going to go out sooner or later.

On the other hand, an irritant like sugar in the urine could be related to diabetes. Or if the irritant is caffeine or alcohol, those substances may need to be limited. All of those issues could cause health problems and earlier death.

In any case, nocturia should be discussed with a medical professional. It may be a warning sign that could point the way to preventive measures.

Jim Purdy

Distressingly, I fear that no one of my Colleagues knows Qauntum Biophysical Semeiotic Constititutions and related Inherited Real Risk; both disorders can be bedside recognized with a stethoscope and succesffully treated in a large majority of cases. In a few word, an individuals negative for Oncological Terrain (melatonine secretion is high in the night!), for Diabetic Constitution, and for CAD Inherited Real Risk may wake up to urinat,e as he (she) likes... without increased risk of premeture death!

I should have been dead years ago.


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