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Hypertension, old age increases nighttime urination

Older people taking diuretics and suffering from high blood pressure are more likely to get up at least twice in the middle of the night to urinate.

Hypertension, old age increases nighttime urination

Older people taking diuretics and suffering from high blood pressure are more likely to get up at least twice in the middle of the night to urinate – a condition called nocturia. Nocturia is a symptom, not a condition, which may result from low bladder capacity, too much urine production at night, or a sleep disturbance. The older people get, the more likely they are to have this problem. Doctors often tell people with nocturia to avoid coffee and nighttime fluids, but in the current study neither of these appeared to increase the risk of nocturia in older adults. Researchers from the Birmingham/Atlanta Department of Veterans Affairs Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center found that while it is true that caffeine causes an overproduction of urine and may also be a bladder irritant, but this advice may be less important in nocturia. Nocturia can significantly disrupt older adults' sleep, and double their risk of falling. To investigate what factors are associated with nocturia, the researchers asked 1,632 people aged 60 years and older to estimate the number of times they usually urinate after going to sleep at night. People were followed for several years; anyone who said they urinated at least twice after bed was diagnosed with nocturia. Nearly one-third of the people who participated in the study were diagnosed with nocturia, and a handful (1 percent) said they had to get up at least six times every night to urinate. Examining all variables, the researchers found that having hypertension, taking diuretics and increased age were associated with a higher risk of nocturia. Previous research has linked hypertension and older age to nocturia. In terms of diuretics, it's difficult to say if they are a cause or symptom of the problem. Further studies are needed to find methods to treat nocturia. In the meantime, older adults need to make sure that when they get up to urinate, they do so safely. People who go to the bathroom frequently at night should identify a clear path to the bathroom and maybe use some low level lighting to help guide the nighttime journey.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society,
June 2005
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