Assessing the Burden of Nocturia in the Workplace

The Associations Between Nocturnal Voiding, Subjective Well-Being, Work Engagement and Productivity

Published in: Journal of Medical Economics (2020). doi: 10.1080/13696998.2020.1767631

Posted on on June 05, 2020

by Marco Hafner, Fredrik L. Andersson, Teodor Burtea, Christian Van Stolk, Michael Whitmore, Erez Yerushalmi, Wendy M. Troxel

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Nocturia (getting up at night to urinate, where each urination being followed by sleep or intention to sleep) is a bothersome symptom with potentially negative consequences for individual health and daytime functioning. This study assessed the burden of nocturia in the workplace by investigating associations between nocturia and subjective well-being (SWB), work engagement and productivity.


Using large-scale international workplace survey data, the associations between nocturia, SWB, work engagement (Utrecht Work Engagement Scale, UWES-9) and productivity (Work Productivity and Activity Impairment, WPAI) were assessed. Bivariate and multivariate regression analysis was used with adjustment for a large set of confounding factors, including sleep duration and sleep quality.


Across a study sample of 92,129 observations, aged 18–70, an average of 10% of the survey population reported ≥2 nocturnal voids (generally considered clinically significant nocturia), with prevalence of nocturia increasing with age. Individuals with nocturia reported a 35.7% (p < .001) higher relative sleep disturbance score and were 10.5 percentage points (pp) (p < .001) more likely to report short sleep. Adjusted for covariates, nocturia was associated with a 3.5% (p < .001) lower relative SWB score and a 2% (p < .001) lower relative UWES-9 work engagement score. Nocturia was associated with a 3.9 pp (p < .001) higher work impairment due to absenteeism and presenteeism (WPAI). Adjusting additionally for sleep disturbance and sleep duration reduced the magnitude of the estimated effects, suggesting a key role for poor sleep in explaining the relationship between nocturia and the outcomes (SWB, UWES-9, WPAI) assessed.


A key contribution of this study is the assessment of the association between nocturia and a range of work performance outcomes in a sizeable study using validated instruments to measure work engagement and productivity. The study highlights the importance of taking sleep into account when assessing the relationship between nocturia and associated outcomes.

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