Too Much Caffeine Linked to Loss of Bladder Control in Men

ATLANTA – Consuming caffeine equivalent to about two cups of coffee is associated with moderate to severe urinary incontinence – the loss of bladder control – in men, a Georgia State University doctoral student and her colleagues have found.

Nicole J. Davis, a doctoral student at Georgia State’s Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions, was on a team that found intake of caffeine that is found in about two cups of coffee – 250 milligrams – was linked to moderate to severe urinary incontinence.

The research was published in The Journal of Urology and performed through the Department of Veterans Affairs Birmingham/Atlanta Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center.  Researchers on the project included lead investigator Alayne D. Markland of the University of Alabama at Birmingham; Camille P. Vaughan and Theodore M. Johnson II of Emory University; Patricia S. Goode, Kathryn L. Burgio and David T. Redden, also of the University of Alabama at Birmingham; and Davis.

Urinary incontinence can range from mild leaking, such as what might happen when coughing or sneezing, to uncontrollable wetting.

“The study is significant because urinary incontinence is an extremely prevalent and burdensome condition that is not only linked with social isolation and depression, but also affects society as a whole, including cost of treatment and institutionalization in older adults related to the condition,” Davis said.

Several studies have examined the association of caffeine and urinary incontinence in women, but the subject has been understudied in men, she said.

“The subject has recently received attention in medical literature as to the negative effects of caffeine,” Davis said. “With the increasing use of energy drinks and caffeine consumption predicted to increase, the findings are timely and significant.”

She and the team hope the findings lay the foundation for future investigations about caffeine consumption so health care providers can make more evidence-based recommendations to their patients.

“We’re hoping that clinicians can empower people to make more informed choices about their own health,” Davis said.

The research team used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2005-2006 and 2007-2008.

The article is “Caffeine Intake and its Association with Urinary Incontinence in United States Men: Results from National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys 2005-2006 and 2007-2008,” The Journal of Urology, DOI: 10.1016/j.juro.2012.12.061.

For more information about the Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions, visit