UTIs common in women, but men often hospitalized

October 14, 2013

While women are far more likely to suffer from urinary tract infections, men are more likely to be hospitalized for treatment, according to a study by urologists from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

While women are far more likely to suffer from urinary tract infections, men are more likely to be hospitalized for treatment, according to a study by urologists from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

“We found that those patients who were hospitalized for treatment of urinary tract infections were most often older men, as well as those with serious kidney infections,” said Jesse D. Sammon, DO, the study’s lead author. “They were also more likely to be seen at urban teaching hospitals, and/or treated in zip codes with higher median incomes.”

The study was published online in the September 2013 issue of World Journal of Urology.

Citing previous studies, Dr. Sammon and colleagues noted that costs rise tenfold when UTI patients require hospitalization. Being able to predict which patients with UTI are most likely to be admitted to the hospital may help contain the rising cost of their care.

The study focused on 10.8 million patients from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample with a primary diagnosis of UTI-cystitis and/or pyelonephritis-who were seen in American hospital emergency departments from 2006 to 2009. Of those 10.8 million patients, 1.8 million (16.7%) were admitted to the hospital for further treatment.

Ten years before the current study period, UTIs accounted for fewer than one million emergency department visits resulting in 100,000 hospitalizations, the researchers noted.

In 2007 alone, the research showed, there were more than 8.6 million outpatient visits for UTI, 23% of which were in emergency departments, with 84% of them made by women.

“For men and women, the incidence of going to the emergency department with a UTI was highest among the elderly, yet women saw a ‘peak’ in such cases between age 15 and 25, corresponding to the onset of sexual activity,” Dr. Sammon said.

But men were most likely to be admitted for inpatient care, especially elderly men and those with acute pyelonephritis that required treatment with intravenous antibiotics.

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