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Early research suggests link between poor sleep and incontinence

Posted May 16 2011 11:19am

People who suffer from sleep problems may be more likely to develop urologic conditions such as urinary incontinence , new research suggests. Scientists at New England Research Institutes in the US recruited 1,610 men and 2,535 women for a five-year study.

Participants provided information on sleep disturbances, as well as on any subsequent urologic symptoms.
The researchers found that men who suffered from short sleep duration had a significantly increased risk of lower urinary tract symptoms, as did men and women with restless sleep. In addition, women with restless sleep had a heightened risk of urinary incontinence and the need to get up during the night to urinate (nocturia). The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association and spokesman Dr Kevin McVary told HealthDay News that the amount and quality of sleep a person gets can impact a “wide range” of health conditions, such as urinary incontinence.

He added: “These data may help us better assess how helping patients modify their sleep patterns may help improve their health and overall quality of life.” NHS figures suggest that about 13 per cent of women and five per cent of men in the UK have some degree of urinary incontinence, while insomnia affects about a third of people.

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