Metabolic syndrome is associated with overactive bladder (OAB) in women, according to researchers.

In a study of 274 female patients, investigators Hakki Uzun, MD, and Orhan Unal Zorba, of Rize University in Rise, Turkey, metabolic syndrome was diagnosed in 201 (64%) of 313 with OAB compared with 73 (35%) of 208 patients without OAB, a significant difference between the groups. In multivariate analysis, metabolic syndrome was associated with a 2.5 times increased odds of OAB, the researchers reported online ahead of print in Urology.

The OAB group had significantly greater waist circumference and body mass index compared with the non-OAB patients (98.73 vs. 91.55 cm and 31.37 vs. 27.71 kg/m2, respectively), as well as a significantly higher incidence of hypertension (53% vs. 5%), and lower level of high-density lipoprotein (52.75 vs. 57.25 mg/dL).

“The metabolic syndrome can be an etiologic pathway for the onset of symptoms, and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits with weight loss or improvement in the treatment targeted toward the metabolic syndrome might be a worthwhile research area to develop into a potential therapeutic modality,” the authors concluded.

In a discussion of possible reasons for the link between metabolic syndrome and OAB, Drs. Uzun and Zorba said it is postulated that pro-inflammation and myopathy of the bladder can precipitate detrusor overactivity. Previous studies have suggested an association between OAB and obesity.

For the study, the researchers defined OAB as urinary urgency with or without urgency incontinence that is usually associated with increased daytime frequency and nocturia.