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The concept of 'overactive bladder' serves better commercial rather than patient interests
Date:1/13/2012

"The overactive bladder syndrome has become an accepted way to simplify a complex array of symptoms and leads people to believe that an overactive bladder is an independent disease in itself. However, the truth is not as simple as this, as there are usually several factors at work explaining the symptoms. This is also one of the reasons why so called overactive bladder medications often do not bring the hoped result," says Kari Tikkinen, MD, PhD, from the HUCS Department of Urology.

The article on overactive bladder syndrome, which was co-written by Tikkinen, who currently holds a senior researcher post at the McMaster University in Canada, and Anssi Auvinen, Professor of Epidemiology from the University of Tampere, was recently published in the European Urology journal. For the article, the researchers systematically reviewed the studies on overactive bladder and the channels through which these studies have been funded.

The authors argue that the symptoms of an 'overactive bladder' ought to be studied individually and not as an ambiguous constellation of symptoms. This way the underlying causes of the symptoms can be better understood and more effective treatments can be developed.

The expression 'overactive bladder' was coined at an industry-sponsored symposium held in 1997. The following year, the FDA approved the first drug for the treatment of 'symptoms of overactive bladder', after which the pharmaceutical industry launched high-profile, worldwide promotional campaigns for drugs aimed at treatment of the syndrome.

According to the current definition, overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome is defined as the presence of urinary urgency with or without urgency incontinence, usually with increased daytime frequency and nocturia in the absence of infection or other obvious pathology.

"The definition is vague and ambiguous because it includes unspecific terms, such as 'usually' and 'with or without', and the uncl
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Contact: Dr. Kari Tikkinen
kari.tikkinen@fimnet.fi
647-774-8978
University of Helsinki
Source:Eurekalert

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