Urination at night could lead to a higher risk of death

A recent study led by doctors in Japan has produced results that indicate a link between waking up to urinate at night and a higher risk of death. The exact cause for the increase in mortality rate remains unknown, but the study shows that there is a connection.

Nocturia is the name of the condition that causes an individual to wake from a normal sleep pattern in order to urinate. This has always been considered a part of the aging process, but with this new research there is a clear need to carefully look at any case of nocturia as it could indicate serious health issues.

The study took place in Northern Japan and involved a total of 788 people, 429 of which were women, and the other 359 men. All of these people were 70 years old or older, and after being interviewed in 2003, their medical records were studied over the next three years. What the researchers found was that the individuals who urinated more than twice a night were 2.7 times more likely to die within the three year period of study than the others who did not urinate at night, or did so only once.

This number was adjusted to take into account other variables that could have affected the findings, such as the presence of diabetes, the amount of alcohol consumed on a regular basis, and other health conditions like high blood pressure.

In addition to the concerns raised by this study, because of the disruption to regular sleep patterns, nocturia can also be an indirect cause of accidents during the day. This is usually in situations where those with the condition are less aware of their surroundings due to a lack of sleep and are more likely to fall and injure themselves.

Though the exact connection between nocturia and a higher risk of death remains unclear, the findings suggest that any individual with nocturia, regardless of their age, should consult their doctor to ensure that there are no other serious health issues present.

Source: "Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate among Elderly." MedlinePlus Health Day. 1 May 2009