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Maturitas. 2000 Feb 15;34(2):127-31.

A longitudinal cohort study of elderly women with urinary tract infections.

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Department of Geriatric Medicine, Continence Clinic, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden.



the prevalence of urinary tract infections (UTI), urinary incontinence (UI), estrogen-use and overall mortality in a cohort of elderly women who had been treated for UTI in 1985-86 was re-assessed 10 years later.


a random sample of 6000 women from the birth cohorts 1900, 1905, 1910, 1915 and 1920 were invited in 1986 to complete a questionnaire about UTI, UI and estrogen use (response rate 70%; n = 4206). Treatment with antibiotics for UTI during 1985-86 was reported by 688 (17%) women. In 1995 a similar questionnaire was sent to the women from this group who were still alive (n = 434). Mortality in the women with a history of UTI was compared with an aged-matched control group of women who did not have UTI during 1985-86.


the questionnaire was completed and returned by 361 (83%) women. Treatment for at least one UTI during the last 9 years was reported by 219 (61%) women. The number of episodes varied: 35% had one to two UTI, 28% had three to four UTI, 27% five to ten UTI and 10% had had more than 10 UTI. In 1986, the prevalence of UI was higher in women with a history of UTI than in the total population sample (30 vs. 17%; P < 0.001). The prevalence of UI had increased from 30% in 1986 to 33% in 1995 (P < 0.05). Mortality in the women with a history of UTI was higher than in the aged-matched control group (37 vs. 28%; P < 0.001). A total of 162 (45%) women had received estrogen therapy at some time after the age of 60 years and 140 (39%) reported that they were currently taking low potency estrogens.


elderly women with a history of UTI had a continued high occurrence of UTI and UI, and overall mortality was higher in these women than in an age-matched control group of women from the total population.

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