Sleep apnoea in women has been linked to overactive bladder syndrome in a new study.
The research, presented today (3 September 2012) at the European Respiratory Society's Annual Congress in Vienna, has provided new evidence suggesting a connection between the two conditions.
Overactive bladder syndrome is characterised by an increased frequency to urinate along with incontinence and frequent awakening periods during night time to use the toilet (nocturia). The need to urinate during the night is also a common symptom of sleep apnoea, but little research has been carried out to investigate any links between the two conditions.
Researchers from the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, Spain, analysed 72 female patients referred to a sleep disorders clinic with suspected sleep apnoea. All patients completed a questionnaire asking them about four symptoms associated with their bladder control; urgency and frequency of urination, incontinence and nocturia. They were also asked to rate their discomfort with each of these symptoms.
The results from the questionnaires were then analysed and rated on two scales in order to evaluate both the severity of symptoms and discomfort for each of the four variables, scoring from 0 to 3 for each of these four items.
The analysis showed that 62 of the women were diagnosed with sleep apnoea. The people within this group showed significantly higher scores for the prevalence of symptoms associated with bladder control and their discomfort with these symptoms.