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Asymptomatic bacteriuria in a population of elderly residents living in a community setting: prevalence, characteristics and associated factors
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm , Center for Clinical Research Dalarna. (Family medicine and clinical epidemiology)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm , Center for Clinical Research Dalarna.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Family Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology. (Family medicine and clinical epidemiology)
2006 (English)In: Family Practice, ISSN 0263-2136, Vol. 23, no 3, 303-7 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background. Asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) is common among the elderly in institutionalcare, but less is known about its prevalence among the elderly living in community settings.Knowledge of the prevalence of ASB in this population could contribute to a reduction inunnecessary use of antibiotics.Objective. To study the prevalence of ASB and associated health and social factors in apopulation of elderly people, aged 80 and over, in a community setting.Design. A cross-sectional study.Setting. The catchment area of a primary health care centre in a Swedish middle-sized town.Method. All residents, aged 80 and over, except for those in institutional living, were invited. Astructured interview was carried out and urinary culture obtained.Results. ASB was found in 14.8% of the participants, in 19.0% of the women and 5.8% of themen. In women independent associations with ASB were found for urinary incontinence (OR:2.99, CI: 1.60–5.60), reduced mobility (OR: 2.68, CI: 1.42–5.03) and oestrogen treatment (OR: 2.20,CI: 1.09–4.45).Conclusion. Bacteriuria is common among the elderly living in non-institutional communitysettings, especially among women, although not as common as among the elderly in institutionalsettings. A woman over 80, with urinary incontinence, and needing support to walk has arisk of nearly 50% of presenting with ASB, a condition about which there is consensus not totreat with antibiotics. This should be borne in mind when examining patients with diffusesymptomatology and an accidental finding of bacteriuria.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 23, no 3, 303-7 p.
Keyword [en]
Aged, bacteriuria, epidemiology, incontinence, urinary
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-83621DOI: 10.1093/fampra/cml007PubMedID: 16595541OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-83621DiVA: diva2:111529
Available from: 2007-03-21 Created: 2007-03-21 Last updated: 2009-10-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Asymptomatic Bacteriuria in the Elderly
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Asymptomatic Bacteriuria in the Elderly
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis was to explore the features of asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) in elderly people living in the community, and to seek diagnostic tools to discriminate between ASB and symptomatic urinary tract infection (UTI).

All men and women aged 80 and over living in an urban district of Falun, Sweden, were invited to participate. Urine samples were obtained together with information on symptoms and on health indicators. The same cohort was surveyed again after 6 and 18 months. Urinary cytokines were analysed in 16 patients with UTI, in 24 subjects with ASB and in 20 negative controls.

ASB occurred at baseline in 19.0% of women and 9.4% of men, and was found at least once in 36.9% of women and in 20.2% of men. ASB in women was associated with reduced mobility and urge urinary incontinence. Of those with ASB at baseline, 60% still had bacteriuria at 6 and 18 months, but among those with repeated findings of ASB with E. coli, only 40% had the same bacterial strain after 18 months. In women, the risk of developing a UTI within 24 months was higher among those with ASB at baseline than in those without. Urinary levels of cytokines (CXCL1, CXCL8 and IL-6) and leukocyte esterase were higher in patients with UTI than in patients with ASB.

There is convincing evidence that ASB is harmless and should not be treated with antibiotics. However, such treatment is still often given, thereby unnecessarily contributing to the increased number of bacteria resistant to common antibiotics. This study confirms the high prevalence of ASB in elderly people living in the community. In order not to be misled by a urinary test showing bacteria, it is important to restrict urinary testing for bacteria to patients where there is a suspicion of UTI. In elderly patients with diffuse symptoms or in patients who are unable to communicate their symptoms, further diagnostic help could possibly be obtained by evaluating the urinary levels of leukocyte esterase and/or IL-6.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Universitetsbiblioteket, 2008. 69 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 377
family practice, aged 80 and over, E. coli, bacteriuria, urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence, leukocyte esterase, cytokines
National Category
Family Medicine
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-9288 (URN)978-91-554-7285-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-10-25, Föreläsningssalen, Falu lasarett, Falun, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2008-10-02 Created: 2008-10-02 Last updated: 2011-05-13Bibliographically approved

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