Men and women with overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms such as nocturia are 59% more likely to fall than those without the condition, according to new study results published in Neurourology and Urodynamics.

Only 14% of the 33, 631 OAB patients on Medicare who were studied (mean age 78 years) received treatment. Yet treated individuals had a 12% lower risk for falls, Ravishankar Jayadevappa, PhD, and his colleagues reported. Eleven percent of OAB patients had a fall within 2 years vs 7% of those without OAB.

The team adjusted results for demographics, comorbidities, and history of prior falls. However, they did not account for OAB treatment duration or intensity, behavioral therapies, or direct measures of cognition and functional capacity, which are limitations.

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Falls are an important health issue since they can lead to fracture and even death in seniors. “Preventive education, early diagnosis, and early treatment may help in lowering the risk of falls and thus improve the quality of life and morbidity among older adults with OAB,” Dr Jayadevappa and the team stated.

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Jayadevappa R, Chhatre S, Newman DK, Schwartz JS, and Wein AJ. Association between overactive bladder treatment and falls among older adults. Neurouro Urodyn. 2018;1–7.DOI: 10.1002/nau.23719