An overactive bladder (OAB) affects a person's quality of life. Patients who suffer from OAB run to the toilet frequently to prevent incontinence, and this behavior increases their risk of falling and fear of falling. This study evaluated the influence of OAB on falls and concern about falling in females aged 40 and over living in urban and rural communities.
We conducted a population-based cohort study using King's Health Questionnaire (KHQ), the Korean version of Falls Efficacy Scale-International (KFES-I) and a questionnaire regarding falls, in females aged 40 and over in Guri city and Yangpyeong county. The data from 514 responders were analyzed. The definition of OAB was 'moderately' or 'a lot' of urgency, or urge incontinence in KHQ. Falls was defined as experience of falls in the last year. High fear of falling was defined as a score of 24 or over in KFES-I. The factors were analyzed by the exact chi-square test and Student's t-test. The multivariate logistic regression model was adopted in order to examine the effects of OAB on falls and concern about falling.
Of the 514 responders, 98 fitted the criterion of OAB. Eighty-nine (17.3%) of the responders had experienced falls in the last year: twenty-seven (27.5%) in the group with OAB and 62 (14.9%) in the group without OAB. There was a significant association between falls and OAB (odds ratio [OR], 1.76; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.00 to 3.08; P=0.0485), and between high fear of falling and OAB (OR, 2.72; 95% CI, 1.42 to 5.20; P=0.0024).
Urgency and symptoms of urge incontinence increase the risk of falls in women aged 40 or older in the community. Early diagnosis and proper treatment may prevent falls and improve quality of life in OAB patients.