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Neurourol Urodyn. 2004;23(3):204-10.

Nutrient composition of the diet and the development of overactive bladder: a longitudinal study in women.

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Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, 22-28 Princess Road West, Leicester LE1 6TP, United Kingdom.



Evidence for an association between diet and the symptom syndrome overactive bladder (OAB) would be valuable in understanding its aetiology. The present study investigates prospectively the association between the nutrient composition of the diet and the onset of OAB.


A random sample of community dwelling women aged 40 years or over was studied. Baseline data on urinary symptoms and diet were collected from 6,371 women using a postal questionnaire and food frequency questionnaire. Follow-up data on urinary symptoms were collected from 5,816 of the women in a postal survey 1 year later. Logistic regression was used to investigate the association of diet (daily intakes of energy, macro and micronutrients) with 1 year incidence of OAB.


There was evidence that three nutrients may be associated with OAB onset. Higher intakes of vitamin D (P = 0.008), protein (P = 0.03), and potassium (P = 0.05) were significantly associated with decreased risks of onset. Although overall the associations with vitamin B6 and niacin were not significant (P = 0.08 and P = 0.13), there was some evidence of a decreased risk of onset with higher intakes.


The results from this prospective study suggest possible aetiological associations between certain nutrients and OAB onset. The findings need confirmation and possible mechanisms to explain these associations need further investigation.

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