The prevalence of nocturia and its effect on health-related quality of life and sleep in a community sample in the USA


Karin Coyne, Senior Research Scientist, MEDTAP International, 7101 Wisconsin Ave, Suite 600, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.



To evaluate the prevalence of nocturia and its effects, with and without concomitant overactive bladder (OAB, i.e. urgency, frequency, urge incontinence and nocturia), on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and sleep.


A national survey was conducted in the USA to assess the prevalence of OAB and nocturia. A nested case-control study was conducted among respondents with OAB symptoms and age- and gender-matched controls, with participants completing a series of questionnaires on HRQoL (OAB-q, Short Form-36, and Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) sleep scale). Descriptive analyses, t-tests, analysis of variance with post hoc comparisons and multivariate regressions were used to analyse the data.


In all, 5204 people participated in the survey, with 919 in the nested case-control study. The sample population had a mean age of 45.8 years, was 52.6% female and 80% Caucasian. In the community sample, 31% reported > 1 void/night and 14.2% reported > 2 voids/night. The prevalence of nocturia increased with age, with no gender differences. For OAB cases, 66.8% reported > 1 void/night and 42.2% reported > 2. In the case-control cohort there were significant HRQoL differences (P < 0.01), with increasing episodes of nocturia in all OAB-q subscales except social interaction. The amount of sleep per night was significantly correlated with the sleep, concern and social interaction OABq subscale scores. The number of nocturia episodes/night was also significantly (P = 0.02) associated with the number of hours of sleep/night.


Nocturia is widely prevalent and increases with age, affecting men and women equally. Incremental increases in the number of voids/night have further negative effects on sleep, symptom bother, and HRQoL.