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Inhaled Anticholinergics Tied to Acute Urinary Retention

Last Updated: May 24, 2011.

Men with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease using both short- and long-acting inhaled anticholinergic drugs have an increased risk of developing acute urinary retention, according to a study published in the May 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

TUESDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- Men with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) using both short- and long-acting inhaled anticholinergic (IAC) drugs have an increased risk of developing acute urinary retention (AUR), according to a study published in the May 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Anne Stephenson, M.D., Ph.D., from St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, and colleagues investigated the risk of AUR in 565,073 adults aged 66 or older with COPD using IACs. Patients who were hospitalized, had a same-day surgery, or who visited an emergency department for AUR were identified as cases and were matched with up to five controls. A comprehensive drug benefits database was used to determine exposure to IACs, and the association between IACs and AUR was determined.

The investigators identified 9,432 men and 1,806 women who developed AUR. The risk of developing AUR was higher in men who had just initiated an IAC regimen, compared to nonusers (odds ratio [OR], 1.42). The risk was further increased in men with evidence of benign prostatic hyperplasia (OR, 1.81). Compared with those using monotherapy or nonusers, men using both short- and long-acting IACs had a significantly increased risk of developing AUR (OR, 1.84 and 2.69, respectively).

"Use of short- and long-acting IACs is associated with an increased risk of AUR in men with COPD," the authors write.

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