ALBANY, N.Y — A study conducted by a researcher at Albany Medical College has found the most common urinary symptom that leads men to seek treatment from urologists is nocturia, or the need to urinate during the night.
“This condition was by far the most common complaint among the patients we studied and was the most likely to be resistant to treatment,” said Charles Welliver, M.D., assistant professor of urological surgery and the study’s lead investigator. “We hope that by identifying this problem we’ll be able to better evaluate patients and refine treatment strategies.”
More than 1,200 participants were evaluated in the study, which was recently accepted for publication in Urology. Of patients who were able to name a particular symptom that led them to seek care, nocturia was the predominant complaint.
The findings are significant, Dr. Welliver said, since practitioners today are increasingly focused on patient-centered care. “By identifying and treating a particular urinary symptom, such as nocturia, as opposed to broadly characterizing urinary symptoms as a whole,” he said, “we can focus on improving patient outcomes by actually addressing the complaint that led them to seek medical attention.”
While nocturia may become more common as a person ages, it can also be a symptom of more serious conditions that include diabetes, organ failure, high blood pressure, heart disease, vascular disease and prostate cancer.
“Historically, we often found prostate cancer once patients were symptomatic from widespread disease,” Welliver said. “We now more frequently identify men with prostate cancer when they only have urinary complaints or have reached a certain age when we know prostate cancer is more common.”
Regardless of whether they are experiencing nocturia, Welliver added, he and his colleagues recommend that men between the ages of 55 and 69 get screened for prostate cancer. “September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month,” he said. “As with many cancers, early detection of the disease may lead to better outcomes.”
To learn more about the study, please visit http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26299465.
Albany Medical Center, northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center, is one of the largest private employers in the Capital Region. It incorporates the 734-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital, which offers the widest range of medical and surgical services in the region, and the Albany Medical College, which trains the next generation of doctors, scientists and other health care professionals, and also includes a biomedical research enterprise and the region’s largest physicians practice with more than 450 doctors. Albany Medical Center works with dozens of community partners to improve the region’s health and quality of life. For more information: www.amc.edu .