Urinary tract infections a serous condition affecting the elderly. A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection that occurs anywhere along the urinary tract. Many older people get UTI treatment even though they do not have these symptoms. This can do more harm than good. Here's why. Clinical Practice from The New England Journal of Medicine — Urinary Tract Infections in Older Men.


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Doctors often use antibiotics to treat urinary tract infections UTIs. The main symptoms of UTIs are: A burning feeling when you urinate.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in Older Adults

A strong urge to urinate often. However, many older people get UTI treatment even though they do not have these symptoms. This can do more harm than good. Older people often have some bacteria in their urine.


A study of elderly patients complaining of poor well-being anorexia, difficulty in falling asleep, difficulty in staying asleep, fatigue, malaise, weakness found they were frequently incontinent of urine irrespective of the presence of bacteriuria. Acute dysuria is more discriminating for UTI than other genitourinary symptoms Figure.

urinary tract infection elderly

Antibiotics for urinary tract infections in older people | Choosing Wisely

In a cognitively impaired patient, persistent change in mental status and change in character of the urine not responsive to other interventions ie, hydration suggests the need for urine studies.

Given the known transient and recurring nature of urinary tract infection elderly in older patients, 45 a test of cure should not be performed after treatment of UTI.

Evaluation of clinical response should be based on symptom improvement without a need to repeate urinary studies. They can do this by: More research is needed.

Urinary tract infection in older adults

Proper nursing home or long-term care is critical in preventing UTIs, especially for people urinary tract infection elderly are immobile and unable to take care of themselves.

They rely on others to keep them clean and dry.


If you or a urinary tract infection elderly one is a nursing home resident, talk to management about how they manage personal hygiene. This increased risk of UTI was not demonstrated for those women reporting intercourse 1 day prior hazard ratio: Urinary retention and high postvoid residual PVR urine has been postulated to be a risk factor for UTI in older adults.


In men, prostatic hypertrophy causing obstruction to the normal flow of urine leads to high PVR. High PVR and urinary stasis as a result of chronic obstruction are thought to be important factors for developing UTI and ASB in older men; however, studies evaluating the association in this urinary tract infection elderly are limited.

In women, the association between high Urinary tract infection elderly and UTI has been more thoroughly examined, although data from several studies have yielded conflicting results. Institutionalized older adults Institutionalized adults generally have more functional impairments, higher rates of cognitive deficits and a greater number of medical comorbidities compared with older adults living in the community.

The most significant risk factors associated with UTI in institutionalized older adults are the presence of a urinary catheter and, similar to community-dwelling older adults, history of prior UTI [ 31327 ].

Medical comorbidities, such as stroke and dementia, which may predispose individuals to bowel and bladder incontinence, have been associated with symptomatic UTI and persistent ASB in this population [ 1326 ].

Other predictive factors include disability in activities of daily living and having a history of urinary incontinence [ 13 ].

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