n e w e ng l a n d j o u r na l


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tribution to disease offer invaluable insights into the mechanisms of disease pathogenesis. Jayakrishna Ambati, M.D.
University of Kentucky Lexington, KY 40536

Nicholas Katsanis, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 21205

Kang Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.
University of California, San Diego La Jolla, CA 92093
1. Kleinman ME, Yamada K, Takeda A, et al. Sequence- and

target-independent angiogenesis suppression by siRNA via TLR3. Nature 2008;452:591-7. 2. Karikó K, Bhuyan P, Capodici J, Weissman D. Small interfering RNAs mediate sequence-independent gene suppression and induce immune activation by signaling through toll-like receptor 3. J Immunol 2004;172:6545-9. 3. Pirher N, Ivicak K, Pohar J, Bencina M, Jerala R. A second binding site for double-stranded RNA in TLR3 and consequences for interferon activation. Nat Struct Mol Biol 2008;15:761-3. 4. Klein R, Klein BE, Tomany SC, Meuer SM, Huang GH. Tenyear incidence and progression of age-related maculopathy: the Beaver Dam eye study. Ophthalmology 2002;109:1767-79. 5. Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group. A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for agerelated macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS report no. 8. Arch Ophthalmol 2001;119:1417-36. [Erratum, Arch Ophthalmol 2008;126:1251.]

Weight Loss for Urinary Incontinence in Overweight and Obese Women
To the Editor: Subak et al. (Jan. 29 issue)1 report that weight loss among overweight and obese women with urinary incontinence decreased the frequency of incontinence. The mechanism is unclear. It is commonly assumed that reduced intraabdominal pressure is responsible. However, dietary changes independent of weight loss may be overlooked. Sodium intake is particularly important. We estimate that the sodium intake of participants at baseline was 3840 mg per day (167 mmol), on the basis of a sodium intake, adjusted for sex and age, of 1.63 mg per kilocalorie,2 multiplied by the energy requirement for low-activity women. The energy requirement was calculated according to the mean height, weight, and age of the study subjects.3 The reduction of the energy intake at baseline (2357 kcal per day) to that with the reduced-calorie diet (mean, 1350 kcal per day) represents a difference of 1640 mg of sodium (71 mmol) per day, assuming the ratio of sodium to kcal remained similar. A reduction of 2299 mg (100 mmol) in sodium per day predicts a decrease in the 24-hour urinary volume of 399 ml.4 Thus, the sodium reduction alone may have decreased the urinary volume by 285 ml per day, thus reducing the frequency of incontinence. Caleb J. Kelly, M.S., R.D.
University of Colorado Denver, CO 80045

Piyagarnt E. Vichayavilas, M.S., R.D.
Children’s Hospital of Denver Denver, CO 80045
1. Subak LL, Wing R, West DS, et al. Weight loss to treat uri-

nary incontinence in overweight and obese women. N Engl J Med 2009;360:481-90. 2. Briefel RR, Johnson CL. Secular trends in dietary intake in the United States. Annu Rev Nutr 2004;24:401-31. 3. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary reference intakes for energy, carbohydrate, fiber, fat, fatty acids, cholesterol, protein, and amino acids. 5th ed. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2002. 4. He FJ, Markandu ND, Sagnella GA, MacGregor GA. Effect of salt intake on renal excretion of water in humans. Hypertension 2001;38:317-20.

To the Editor: Subak and colleagues present data suggesting an association between weight loss and reduction in the frequency of urinary incontinence episodes in obese and overweight women as compared with a control group. However, to prove the effect of weight loss adequately, one must consider all other conditions that may affect continence.1 We know that many drugs (e.g., α1-adrenoceptor antagonists, antipsychotic agents, benzodiazepines, diuretics, and anti­ depressants, as well as hormone-replacement therapy in postmenopausal women) have been suggested to induce incontinence.2 There is no information about concurrent drug use by the patients in the trial by Subak et al. We think that Subak et al. should have matched the two groups with regard to medication use to assess


n engl j med 360;21  may 21, 2009

The New England Journal of Medicine Downloaded from on November 22, 2013. For personal use only. No other uses without permission. Copyright © 2009 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.

Ph. Turkey zulger@hacettepe.2 The overall effect of assignment to the weightloss intervention was an estimated 21. a 110-item self-administered questionnaire validated to estimate the intake of nutrients and foods in the various food groups.1 Kesselheim and Studdert to warn. and its direct effect through other pathways. Copyright © 2009 Massachusetts Medical Society.8% in the control group). and malpractice malpractice claims against physicians for failure liability (Feb.59: 1.correspondence the net effect of weight loss in the management of incontinence.21  nejm. RI 02912 Eric Vittinghoff. antipsychotic agents. Oelke M. To verify the balance. Block T. 2. Michel MC.D. Zekeriya Ulger. 5 issue). we added weight loss and changes in sodium intake to the generalized estimating equation negative binomial model we used to assess the effect of treatment on the frequency of urinary incontinence.7% reduction in the frequency of urinary incontinence over 6 months.9:84-93. University of California. suggest that we should have matched the two study groups with respect to medication use to avoid the confounding of an effect of weight loss.358:1029-36. Drug-induced urinary incontinence. 2013. Cotterchio Rena Wing. This overall estimate is based on a complete case analysis and cannot be computed from the within-group percent reductions in frequency that are based on multiple imputation and shown in Table 2 of our article. Leslee L. Boucher B. CA 64115 for the PRIDE Investigators 1. Public Health Nutr 2006. Hacettepe University 06100 Ankara. All rights reserved. Drugs proposed to have an effect on urinary incontinence include α1-adreno­ ceptor antagonists. No other uses without permission.25:541-9. San Francisco San Francisco. as estimated in models controlling for post-randomization changes in weight and sodium intake. at most. Because this was a randomized study. there is no way for us to control the potential influence of study group on post-randomization changes in use. Ph. N Engl J Med 2008. Validity and reliability of the Block98 food-frequency questionnaire in a sample of Canadian women. as estimated in the unadjusted model.D. Preemption and Malpractice Liability To the Editor: In their Perspective article about suggest that preemption will not result in more the Supreme Court. Mustafa Cankurtaran. In contrast. benzodiazepines. preemption. Tsakiris P. San Francisco San Francisco. as well as hormone-replacement therapy in postmenopausal women. we examined medication logs collected for each woman and found that among all medications reported at baseline. We assessed the relative difference between the overall effect of treatment. M. Am J Clin Nutr 1994. Sodium intake was quantified using the Block Food Frequency Questionnaire. diuretics. and antidepressants. CA 64115 subakl@obgyn. . M. The authors reply: Kelly and Vichayavilas suggest that changes in sodium intake rather than weight loss may mediate the effect of the Program to Reduce Incontinence by Diet and Exercise (PRIDE) weight loss intervention on frequency of urinary incontinence. Block G. Nadalin V. Block G. M. M. Analyses adjusting for change in weight only indicated that change in weight explained 74% of the overall effect of treatment. Rogers RG. 2009 2257 The New England Journal of Medicine Downloaded from nejm. 2. Drugs Aging on November 22. Servet Arýogul. Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University Providence. CA) for a complete nutrient analysis including macronutrients and micronutrients. To test this hypothesis. Ulger et al. However.9% in the weight-loss group and 12. Gridley G. which they say are uncommon and finan- n engl j med 360. For personal use only.ucsf.1 Completed questionnaires were sent to Berkeley Nutrition Services (Berkeley. Collection of dietary-supplement data and implications for analysis. University of California. adjustment for change in sodium intake explained. the use of these medications is expected to be balanced at baseline. change in weight appears to be a much more important mediator than change in sodium intake in the present study. 9% of the treatment  may 21. Kreiger N. Sinha R.D.D. Urinary stress incontinence in women.D. Thus. there was no difference in medication use among the noted drug categories (12.

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