Sleep Disorders

16 May 2011

Sleep tied to erectile dysfunction and incontinence

Sleep problems are associated with erectile dysfunction and urologic conditions such as incontinence, according to the results of two new studies.

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Sleep problems are associated with erectile dysfunction and urologic conditions such as incontinence, according to the results of two new studies.

The first study examined the relationship between obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and erectile dysfunction. OSA is a disorder that occurs during sleep, in which a person's upper airway temporarily collapses, causing them to stop breathing. The study included 870 men with an average age of 47.3 years and an average body mass index of 30.2, which is considered obese.

Health screening found that 63% of the men had OSA, 5.6 % had a history of diabetes, and 29% had a history of smoking.

After they adjusted for age and other health conditions, the researchers found that men with erectile dysfunction were more than twice as likely to have OSA than those without erectile dysfunction. And the more severe the erectile dysfunction, the greater the likelihood of having OSA, the investigators noted. The finding suggests that men with erectile dysfunction should be screened for OSA, said the researchers at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

The second study found that sleep problems precede certain urologic conditions, such as urinary incontinence, lower urinary tract symptoms, and the need to get up during the night to urinate (nocturia).

Sleep and erectile dysfunction, incontinence

Researchers at New England Research Institutes, Inc. in Watertown, Mass., followed-up with 1,610 men and 2,535 women for five years, assessing sleep disturbances and the development of urologic symptoms.

The investigators found that short sleep duration among men and restless sleep among men and women was strongly associated with the incidence of lower urinary tract symptoms (8% among men and 13% among women). Incidences of urinary incontinence and nocturia were associated with restless sleep among women but not men, according to the researchers.

Both studies were scheduled to be presented to the media Saturday during a special press conference at the American Urological Association's annual meeting in Washington, DC.

"We know that proper amounts of sleep and quality of sleep can impact a wide range of health conditions, including erectile function and lower urinary tract symptoms," AUA spokesman Dr Kevin T. McVary said in an association news release. "These data may help us better assess how helping patients modify their sleep patterns may help improve their health and overall quality of life."

Because these studies were presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.


(Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.)

 

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Dr Alison Bentley is a general practitioner who has consulted in sleep medicine and sleep disorders, in both adults and children of all ages, for almost 30 years. She also researches and publishes on a number of sleep-related topics both in formal research journals and lay publications including as editor of Sleep Matters, an educational newsletter on sleep disorders for doctors.

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