Overactive Bladder Linked to ED in Men, Lost Employment in Both Genders

Internal Medicine World ReportFebruary 2007
Volume 0
Issue 0

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand—The risk for erectile dysfunction (ED) nearly doubles in men with symptoms of overactive bladder (OAB), researchers announced at the International Continence Society annual meeting.

This finding is based on a comparison of telephone interviews of 502 men (aged ≥50 years) from Sweden, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Canada who had OAB symptoms, and a random sample of 502 matched controls without OAB. This study, called EPIC, is the first multinational, cross-sectional, population-based survey to assess the prevalence and burden of OAB in adults.

Overall, 34.7% of men with OAB who were sexually active during the previous 12 months reported ED compared with 20% of controls, which translates into a prevalence odds ratio of 2.1. “This increase is of the same general magnitude seen for respondents with hypertension or diabetes,“ said Debra E. Irwin, MSPH, PhD, of the University of North Carolina School of Public Health, Chapel Hill.

Having symptoms of OAB was also associated with a decrease in sexual activity, whether or not the men also had urinary incontinence.

A separate analysis that involved the entire EPIC cohort of 19,165 men and women revealed that those with OAB were significantly less likely to be employed. Among men with OAB, 65.7% without urinary incontinence and 53.8% with urinary incontinence were employed, compared with 76.9% of the controls (P ≤ .05 for all).

The respective proportions of employed women with OAB were 56% among those without urinary incontinence and 53% for those with urinary incontinence, compared with 64% of the controls (P ≤ .05 for all).

In addition, among those employed, absenteeism and presenteeism (reduced effectiveness while working) were more common in patients with OAB, regardless of incontinence status, compared with the controls.

Notably, men with urinary incontinence had the highest rates of lost work productivity across the 3 categories evaluated, with rates of absenteeism, presenteeism, and overall work impairment of 13.3% (not significant), 22.2% (P ≤.05), and 28.9% (P ≤.05) compared with controls, respectively.

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