Overactive Bladder Treatment Linked to Decreased Fall Risk for Older Adults

May 16, 2015, 12:30 ET from American Urological Association

NEW ORLEANS, May 16, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Treatment for Overactive Bladder (OAB) may leader to fewer falls among older adults, according to a new study presented during the 110th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA). Tomas Griebling, MD, MPH, AUA spokesperson and professor and vice chair of the Department of Urology at the University of Kansas School of Medicine will moderate the session for the media during a special press conference at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on May 16, 2015 at 11:30 a.m. CT. Dr. Griebling is also faculty associate at the Landon Center of Aging.

OAB is not a disease.  It's the name given to a group of troubling urinary symptoms. The most common is a sudden and unexpected urge to urinate that individuals can't control. In some people, this "gotta go" feeling may result in urine leakage (incontinence). But in others, it may not. Other OAB symptoms include frequent urination during the day and night. The number of times someone goes to the bathroom may be different from person to person. But many experts agree that going to the bathroom more than eight times in 24 hours is "frequent urination."

OAB affects millions of men and women. Some experts estimate as many as 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women in the United States live with OAB symptoms. For older adults, falls often result when a person attempts to move too quickly to get to a bathroom, which can lead to minor, as well as severe injury among older populations. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, sought to understand the link between OAB and older adults, and whether or not OAB treatment could impact fall risk.

Study Details

Publication Number: PD24-09

Examining Medicare claims data from 2006-2009, researchers identified 32,587 people with an OAB diagnosis, who averaged in age of 77.7 years.  Patients' medical histories were examined one year prior to and two years following diagnosis to determine the association between OAB and falls, and the protective effects of treatment for OAB on risk of falls. Researchers found:

  • People who had an OAB diagnosis had a higher risk (10.2 percent) of falling compared to those without an OAB diagnosis (5.3 percent).
  • Incidences of chronic disease or conditions were higher among those with OAB than those without.
  • OAB diagnosis was associated with 40 percent increased risk of falling.  
  • Treatment for OAB reduced the fall risk compared to those who did not receive treatment and of the 10 percent who received treatment for OAB, 77 percent were male.

"This study continues to strengthen the link between overactive bladder and falls in older adults," said Dr. Griebling. "It also underscores the importance of effectively identifying and treating this condition – especially in older populations."

About the American Urological Association: The 110th Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association takes place May 15-19 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA.

Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is a leading advocate for the specialty of urology, and has more than 21,000 members throughout the world. The AUA is a premier urologic association, providing invaluable support to the urologic community as it pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care through education, research and the formulation of health policy.

Christine Frey, AUA
443-909-0839, cfrey@AUAnet.org

SOURCE American Urological Association