Severe Urinary Problems Boost Death Risk in Older Men

Those over 45 face an almost 24-fold increase in mortality, study says

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FRIDAY, Nov. 9, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- As many as 25 percent of men over age 45 admitted to hospital with acute urinary retention (AUR) die within a year, a death risk comparable to that of patients with a broken hip, a new study says.

AUR, the sudden inability to pass urine, is a medical emergency. The condition is often a progression of benign prostatic hyperplasia, an enlargement of the prostate that can interfere with normal urine flow. AUR may also be linked to the presence of other disorders such as diabetes and high blood pressure, according to background information in the study, which was published Nov. 9 by BMJ Online First.

The study authors, from the University College London and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, analyzed data on more than 176,000 English men over the age of 45 who were hospitalized for treatment of a first episode of AUR between 1998 and 2005.

The researchers found that one in seven of the men with spontaneous AUR (no evidence of precipitating factors other than benign prostatic hyperplasia), and one in four with precipitated AUR, died within one year.

The risk of death increased with age and the presence of other health problems (comorbidity). About half the AUR patients over age 85 with comorbid conditions died within a year after being hospitalized.

The researchers calculated that the overall one-year death risk for men admitted to hospital with AUR was two to three times higher than for the general male population. Among AUR patients ages 45 to 54, the death risk was nearly 24 times higher.

AUR patients may benefit from urgent multidisciplinary care to identify and treat comorbid conditions early, the researchers concluded.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about prostate enlargement.

SOURCE: BMJ Online First, news release, Nov. 9, 2007

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