PHILADELPHIA—Excess abdominal visceral fat is a risk factor for overactive bladder (OAB), according to study findings presented at the International Continence Society’s 2018 annual meeting.

In a study involving 190 patients, OAB was most strongly associated with the ratio of visceral fat volume (VFV) to total abdominal fat volume (TAV), Tomohiro Matsuo, MD, of Nagasaki University Hospital in Japan, reported.

Of the 190 patients (mean age of 60.4 years), 90 (47.4%) met OAB criteria. The investigators used computed tomography to calculate VFV, TAV, visceral fat area (VFA), subcutaneous fat area (SFA), and subcutaneous fat volume (SFV)

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The OAB group had a significantly higher mean body weight than the non-OAB patients (57.6 vs 54.5 kg), but the mean body mass index (BMI) was not significantly different (22.9 and 22.2 kg/m2). The OAB group also was significantly older (mean 67.4 vs 54.2 years).

The OAB group had significantly higher mean VFA than the non-OAB group (112.1 vs 73.8 cm2) as well as a significantly greater mean VFA/SFA ratio (1.07 vs 0.53), VFV (3167 vs 1860.8 cm3), VFV/SFV ratio (1.55 vs. 0.52), and VFV/TAV ratio (49.7 vs 32.5).

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In the receiver-operating characteristic curve for the VFV/TAV ratio, the area under the curve was 0.836. Using a cutoff value of 0.591, the VFV/TAV ratio had a sensitivity and specificity of 0.591 and 0.810, respectively. On multivariable analysis, a VFV/TAV ratio above 0.591 was an independent risk factor for OAB. It was associated with significant 4.7-fold odds of OAB compared with a ratio below 0.591.

“Together, these results suggest that an accumulation of visceral fat, which triggers metabolic syndrome, increases the risk of OAB,” Dr Matsuo’s team concluded.


Matsuo T, Miyata Y, Araki K, et al. Relationship between excess visceral fat accumulation and the development and severity of overactive bladder. Data presented at the International Continence Society’s 2018 annual meeting in Philadelphia, August 28–31. Abstract 269.