AUA 2019: Association of Urinary Leakage Frequency with Biomarkers of Systemic Inflammation: Results From the Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study

Chicago, IL ( The aim of the study to determine if serum markers for inflammation (e.g. C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6)) were associated with urinary leakage in older Americans. The Health, Aging and Body Composition Study (Health ABC) is an interdisciplinary study focused on risk factors for the decline of function in healthier older persons.

 Health ABC is a longitudinal cohort consisting of 3,075 healthy men and women, aged 70-79 at baseline; 45 percent of the women and 33 percent of the men are African-American. Serum CRP and IL-6 were measured in year 2 and urinary health questionnaires were administered in years 1, 4, and 11. Baseline distributions of demographic characteristics and urinary leakage frequency were examined according to quartiles of CRP and IL-6. Analysis was conducted on the 2,774 subjects with CRP and 2,736 subjects wth IL-6 levels measured for associations with urinary outcomes using ordinal logistic regression.

 Overall, 21.1% and 28.0% of participants reported daily urinary leakage episodes in year 4 and year 11, respectively. The prevalence of daily leakage was higher for participants in the highest quartile of CRP as for those in the lowest quartile in both years; the same was observed for IL-6. A one unit increase in log IL-6 was associated with 1.25 greater odds (95% CI: 1.07-1.46) of more frequent leakage episodes in year 4. Similar findings were observed for CRP (OR=1.13, 95% CI: 1.03-1.24). Urinary leakage was also more frequent with higher CRP and IL-6.

The authors concluded that demonstrated a consistent association of higher CRP or IL-6 levels with urinary leakage in both men and women. These results support the hypothesized role of inflammation in the development of urinary incontinence outside of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia or Overactive Bladder, and a possible role for anti-inflammatory agents in its treatment.

Presented by: Laura Lamb, PhD, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Co-authors: Ke Song, Royal Oak, MI, Richard D. Semba, Baltimore, MD, Robert H. Podolsky, Michael B. Chancellor, Royal Oak, MI, Health ABC Study, Bethesda, MD

Written by: Bilal Farhan, MD, Clinical Instructor, Female Urology and Voiding Dysfunction, Department of Urology, University of California, Irvine @BilalfarhanMD at the American Urological Association's 2019 Annual Meeting (AUA 2019), May 3 – 6, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois
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