A new study evaluated nocturia as a predictor of obstructive sleep apnea.
The study involved 1,007 adults. All of them had sought help at a sleep disorders center.
They completed medical and sleep history questionnaires. Their sleep was evaluated during an overnight sleep study.
HealthDay reports that 797 were diagnosed with sleep apnea. Snoring was reported by 777 people, and 839 reported nocturia.
Results show that self-reported nocturia was as effective as snoring at predicting OSA. The authors suggested that doctors should ask about nocturia when screening for sleep apnea.
"I see patients all the time who think they're waking up to urinate because they have prostate trouble or a small bladder," study co-author Dr. Barry Krakow told HealthDay. "About 80 percent of the time we discover that apnea is the cause of their problem."
Nocturia involves excessive urination at night. You may wake up several times during the night to urinate.
Sleep apnea causes frequent awakenings from sleep. Often these awakenings may be attributed incorrectly to excessive urination.
One study involved 80 people who woke up to urinate while being evaluated for a suspected sleep disorder. They were asked why they believed they had awakened.
Participants woke up and urinated 121 times. Sleep study results showed that 79 percent of these awakenings were caused by OSA, snoring or periodic limb movements.
But patients correctly identified the cause of only five percent of the awakenings. The authors concluded that people are poor judges of the reasons why they wake from sleep.
Research also shows that CPAP therapy for sleep apnea reduces awakenings to urinate.
Are you at risk for sleep apnea? STOP and find out. You also can answer these questions on SleepEducation.com to learn more about your risk.
Get help for sleep apnea at an AASM-accredited sleep center near you.