Increased visceral fat area (VFA) is significantly associated with the presence and severity of overactive bladder (OAB) in men, data presented at the 2022 American Urological Association annual meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, suggest.

Further, excessive abdominal visceral vat accumulation alone is an important OAB risk factor, concluded a team led by Tomohiro Matsuo, MD, PhD, of Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Nagasaki, Japan.

Dr Matsuo and colleagues analyzed data from 519 participants who underwent abdominal computed tomography (CT) as part of health checks and had not been treated for lower urinary tract symptoms prior to study enrollment. Of these, 135 met criteria for OAB: 2 points or higher on question 3 (urinary urgency) of the Overactive Bladder Symptom Score questionnaire and a total score of 3 points or higher. Investigators calculated VFA, visceral fat volume (VFV), and total abdominal fat volume (TAV) from the abdominal CT scans. Patients had a mean age of 57.4 years.

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Compared with the men without OAB, the men with OAB had significantly higher mean VFA (113.5 vs 72.1 cm2), VFV (3299.6 vs 1829.1 cm3), and VFV/TAV (0.50 vs 0.32). VFV/TAV at a cutoff value of 0.409 had a sensitivity and specificity for OAB of 74% and 73%, respectively. On multivariable analysis, a VFV/TAV of 0.409 was independently associated with 4.5-fold increased odds for OAB.

Recent research suggests that metabolic syndrome is an important factor in the development of lower urinary tract symptoms, Dr Matsuo and colleagues noted. A recent study of women demonstrated that excessive visceral fat accumulation, which can trigger metabolic syndrome, is associated with OAB presence and severity. No such research has been conducted with men, who are considered more susceptible to the effects of visceral fat than women, according to the investigators.


Matsuo T, Miyata Y, Ito H, et al. Excessive visceral fat in men is associated with the presence and severity of overactive bladder. Presented at AUA 2022, May 13-16, 2022, New Orleans, Louisiana. Abstract PD38-05.