Monday, April 22, 2024

Overactive Bladder Linked to Depressive Symptoms

People who have been diagnosed with overactive bladder are nearly three times as likely to have depression than those without overactive bladder, a study in the Journal of Affective Disorders has found.

Xiansheng Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., of Anhui Medical University in Hefei, China, and colleagues examined responses from adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2005 to 2018 and who had complete data related to depression and urinary function. The researchers excluded adults who had conditions that could affect their urination, such as pregnancy, benign prostate issues, certain cancers, or stroke.

The final sample included 6,612 participants, among whom 1,005 had a diagnosis of overactive bladder. Overactive bladder was defined as a measurement of at least three on the Overactive Bladder Symptom Score, which includes questions about urinary incontinence and nocturia (waking up at night to urinate). Symptoms of depression were defined as a score of at least 10 on the nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire.

After adjusting for sociodemographic factors, behavioral factors (BMI, smoking status, alcohol use), and chronic diseases, the researchers found that participants with overactive bladder were 2.89 times more likely to have depressive symptoms than those without overactive bladder.

“[U]rinary incontinence symptoms…can affect social functioning and an individual's quality of life, such as decreased participation in social activities and loneliness, which can then lead to depression,” Zhang and colleagues wrote.

The researchers noted that the relationship between overactive bladder and depressive symptoms can go in both directions. First, the more severe overactive bladder symptoms were, the more likely participants were to have depression. Second, depressive symptoms may make overactive bladder symptoms worse.

“For psychiatrists, this underscores the importance of proactively assessing urinary system symptoms in patients with depression to improve treatment adherence and effectiveness, offering a more holistic approach to patient care,” they wrote.

(Image: Getty Images/iStock/i_frontier)

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