QUALITY of sleep in women can be improved by taking a drug used to treat urinary incontinence, according to researchers from Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA. In the study, a self-reported evaluation of women experiencing accidental urination found that the antimuscarinic agent fesoterodine reduced night-time urination to once or not at all, providing a simultaneous therapy both for poor sleep and urinary incontinence.
The BRIDGES trial in 2012, which included 645 women with an average age of 56, discovered that, in addition to decreasing accidental urination, fesoterodine also reduced night-time wakefulness brought about by the need to urinate. The participants were also asked to take part in a standardised sleep evaluation, called the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, to understand if the drug could improve the quality of sleep. Seven sleep-associated aspects were measured from this self-reported evaluation, including sleep duration and how long it takes for an individual to fall asleep.
At baseline, a majority of the women in the cohort reported they had to get up once or twice a night to urinate; numbers that can seriously disrupt the sleep cycle. However, those treated with fesoterodine reported that their sleep improved, and urination only took place either once or not at all at night on average. The findings suggest that the drug could therefore be utilised to treat two major quality-of-life issues in older women at the same time.
Quality of Life
“Two of the biggest quality-of-life factors for older women are poor sleep quality and incontinence, and the older you get, the more prevalent both conditions are, and they do seem to be correlated,” said Prof Leslee Subak, Stanford University. “And so, if we can find a drug to treat one and effectively decrease the other too, that could be big for improving quality of life.”
Urinary incontinence, which leads to further quality-of-life issues such as poor-quality sleep, are common in women, ranging from around a quarter of those of reproductive age to 80% of those aged 80 or above. Therefore, finding new ways to address this condition are of vital importance.
James Coker, Reporter
For the source, and further information on the study, click here.