Consequences of Nocturia

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Raymond C. Rosen, PhD; Tove Holm-Larsen, PhD; Varant Kupelian, PhD; Alan J. Wein, MD, PhD, (Hon)

Table of Contents

Postgraduate Medicine:

Volume 125 No. 4

Category:

Clinical Features

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DOI: 10.3810/pgm.2013.07.2673
Abstract: Nocturia is defined as waking at night ≥ 1 time to void. The traditional view of nocturia, as a medically nonsignificant lifestyle problem not deserving of further attention by physicians or health care providers, is contradicted strongly by a growing body of evidence. Increasingly, nocturia is viewed as a significant health risk or comorbidity that may result from various underlying disorders not exclusively related to lower urinary tract symptoms. Nocturia is common in men and women of all ages, and is a major cause of sleep disruption in the general population. Poor sleep, in turn, is associated with profound effects on quality of life and normal daytime function in patients with nocturia, particularly in younger patients. Despite the patient bother associated with the condition and the potential adverse health and quality of life effects, common misconceptions limit help-seeking by patients for the problem. In contrast, recent studies indicate that regularly waking ≥ 2 times to void per night leads to significant reductions in the quantity and quality of sleep, which likely contribute to the association between nocturia and increased morbidity and mortality. This finding of waking ≥ 2 times to void as a threshold for serious consequences of nocturia has been shown consistently in studies by different investigators, and in different research settings and populations. Future research is required to determine whether reducing nocturnal voids to < 2 per night results in clinically meaningful outcomes for patients with nocturia.

Keywords: nocturia; morbidity; quality of life; mortality