Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genes an important factor in urinary incontinence

05.04.2011
Much of the risk of developing incontinence before middle age is determined by our genes. Genetic factors can explain half of people’s susceptibility to urinary incontinence, a study of twins at the University of Gothenburg and Karolinska Institutet (Sweden) reveals.

Urinary incontinence is very common, especially among women, with around one in three affected at some point in life. Incontinence, overactive bladder and other lower urinary tract symptoms can be caused by factors such as old age, excess weight, pregnancy and childbirth, as well as stroke and other neurological disorders.

“Incontinence is caused by a combination of factors,” says gynaecologist Anna Lena Wennberg, one of the researchers behind the study. “We already knew that there are hereditary factors, but now we’ve been able to show for the first time how important the genetic component is for various types of urinary tract disorder.”

Conducted in collaboration with the Swedish Twin Registry at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, the study looked at just over 25,000 Swedish twins aged 20 to 46. Information about urinary incontinence, overactive bladder and other lower urinary tract symptoms were analysed using a statistical method which measures how much of the difference between people is due to genetic variation. By comparing the prevalence of these symptoms in identical twins, who have identical genes, and non-identical twins, who share half of their genetic material, the researchers were able to draw conclusions about the relative significance of genetic and environmental factors.

“With urinary incontinence, we saw that just over half of the variation (51%) can be explained by genetic factors,” says Wennberg. “This doesn’t mean that half of all people with urinary incontinence inherit it from their parents, but that around 50% of people’s susceptibility to urinary incontinence can be explained by their genes.”

Genes also turned out to be significant for nocturia – the need to get up in the night to urinate. In this case, around a third (34%) of the variation has a genetic explanation.

Wennberg does not believe that there is a single incontinence gene, rather that a number of different genes play a role. These genes combine with various environmental factors or cause disorders which, in turn, increase the risk of urinary incontinence.

“Urinary incontinence is a multifactorial condition, and while we now know that much of the variation between people is down to their genes, treatment will continue to focus on environmental factors which are easier to influence, such as smoking and excess weight.”

The study was published recently in the online version of the journal European Urology.

URINARY INCONTINENCE
There are several different forms of urinary incontinence. Stress incontinence is where the sphincter between the bladder and the urethra leaks under pressure from the abdomen when coughing, lifting or exercising. Urge incontinence is where the bladder contracts abnormally, resulting in an urge to urinate even when the bladder is not full. Overflow incontinence is where the bladder does not empty as it should, with the result that urine escapes when the bladder is full. Urinary incontinence can also be caused by various neurological disorders or as a side-effect of some medicines.
For more information, please contact:
Anna-Lena Wennberg, gynaecologist and researcher at the Department of Urology, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, tel: +46 (0)31 700 8763, e-mail: anna-lena.wennberg@obgyn.gu.sehttp://mailto:anna-lena.wennberg@obgyn.gu.se

Ian Milsom, professor at the Department of Urology, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, tel: +46 (0)31 342 4179, e-mail: ian.milsom@obgyn.gu.sehttp://mailto:ian.milsom@obgyn.gu.se

Journal: European Urology
Title of article: Genetic influences are important for most but not all lower urinary tract symptoms: A population-based survey in a cohort of adult Swedish twins

Authors: Anna Lena Wennberg, Daniel Altman, Cecilia Lundholm, Åsa Klint, Anastasia Iliadou, Ralph Peeker, Magnus Fall, Nancy L. Pedersen, Ian Milsom

Weitere Informationen:
http://www.europeanurology.com/article/S0302-2838(11)00245-4/abstract - Article

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht More genes are active in high-performance maize
19.01.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht How plants see light
19.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>