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The medical condition 72 percent of Americans don’t know about is stealing sleep and disrupting lives, survey shows
Over one-third of Americans wake up more than once per night to urinate due to a condition called nocturia, which can cause daytime tiredness and irritability, impair work productivity, increase risk of falls and injury, and lead to other medical problems
Nocturia forces individuals to get up more than once per night to urinate. Nocturia has many contributing causes, but in most cases, it is caused by the kidneys producing too much urine at night, known as nocturnal polyuria. The poll shows that while nocturia may affect more than a third of U.S. adults, 64 percent of Americans have no idea it is a diagnosable, treatable medical condition.
Worse yet, 66 percent of nocturia sufferers2 surveyed have never talked to their doctor or healthcare professional about it. Half of those patients reported they thought it was a normal part of aging; 27 percent said they believed that nothing could be done about it.
“We see patients who have suffered with nocturia for many years, as it slowly progresses from getting up twice to over four times per night to urinate,” said
Awakening multiple times during the night is not only bothersome but can lead to serious and even dangerous medical consequences. The poll showed that a stunning 72 percent of nocturia sufferers are negatively affected at night, revealing that they can’t get back to sleep (43 percent), they wake up their partner (12 percent) and they are nervous about tripping or falling when walking to the bathroom (10 percent). In fact, this worry has merit: one in four Americans age 65 and over fall each year, and every 19 minutes an older adult dies from a fall, according to the
“Night time is high-risk for falls because of the disorientation a person feels when awakening and then rising in the night,” said
The effects of nocturia are also felt during the day. In fact, 61 percent of nocturia sufferers experience daytime symptoms, including: drowsiness or tiredness (42 percent), irritability (21 percent), issues with their ability to get things done (17 percent) and trouble concentrating (15 percent).
“Before receiving treatment for nocturia, I typically wound up making five trips to the bathroom each night, which I knew wasn’t normal,” said
Nocturia is often confused with overactive bladder or enlarged prostate symptoms, but 70 percent of nocturia sufferers surveyed are not experiencing urinary frequency or urgency symptoms during the day, which means they are likely experiencing symptoms of nocturia due to nocturnal polyuria.
According to Caregiver Action Network, more than 90 million people in the US provide care for a family member or friend.5 “Most family caregivers are already sleep deprived,” said
Survey Method: This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll with funding from
1 Bliwise DL, Foley DJ, Vitiello MV, et al: Nocturia and Disturbed Sleep in the Elderly. Sleep Med. 2009 May; 10(5): 540-548
2 Those that indicated they wake up from sleep 2+ times per night to urinate
4 Holm-Larsen TWJ, Weiss J et al. Economic Burden of Nocturia in the US Adult Population. J.Urol. 183 (2010).