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16 March 2011
Sleep apnea may be behind prostate issues
by George Atkinson

New research from Ben-Gurion University in Israel supports the notion that men thought to have enlarged prostates may actually wake from sleep apnea and then decide to urinate.

This surprising conclusion is based on a study that compared men between the ages of 55 and 75 years-old who were diagnosed with benign prostate enlargement (BPE) and reported nocturia (waking-up needing to urinate) at least once nightly.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, found that 58 percent of patients with enlarged prostates may in fact have the sleep disorder, and that the awakenings that patients ascribed to their need to urinate at night may be actually caused by their sleep disorders.

"If nocturia severity in BPE patients is actually a pre-existing sleep disorder, this can now be treated and help improve patients' quality of life," said researcher Howard Tandeter. "Even among those patients with well-defined medical reasons for nocturia, sleep disorders may still be found as the source of most awakenings from sleep. Therefore, the diagnosis of a sleep disorder should be seriously considered whenever a patient reports frequent awakenings from sleep to urinate."

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Source: Ben-Gurion University

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