Childhood Bedwetting Predicts Adult Enuresis

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GLASGOW—Bedwetting in childhood is a strong indicator of persisting enuresis in adulthood, researchers concluded.

That is the finding of an Internet-based survey to which 1,201 individuals aged 18 years or older responded. Daniella Marschall-Kehrel, MD, who is in private practice in Frankfurt, Germany, and colleagues placed respondents into three groups: nocturia (641 subjects), enuresis (217 subjects), or controls (343 subjects).

Seventy-four percent of enuresis sufferers reported having enuresis when starting school. Compared with controls, childhood enuresis was associated with a nearly 10-fold increased likelihood of enuresis in adulthood, according to findings presented at the International Continence Society annual meeting. Childhood enuresis also was associated with a nonsignificant 35% increased likelihood of current nocturia.

The researchers concluded that it is possible that the number of unreported cases of adult enuresis is higher than previously reported.

In their study abstract, the investigators stated: “Surprisingly high is the number of adults in the total study population suffering from enuresis. Typical is the reported restriction of fluid intake in the evening, which is a well-known coping strategy that is also adopted but to a less extent by people with nocturia.” Nearly one quarter of survey respondents with enuresis reported restricting fluid intake at night.

“These results call for the prompt and targeted treatment of enuresis, which might not only reduce the rate of adults with this condition but also the number of people with nocturia,” the authors stated.

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