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BMC Health Serv Res. 2016 Aug 9;16(a):365. doi: 10.1186/s12913-016-1620-2.

The economic burden of urinary tract infections in women visiting general practices in France: a cross-sectional survey.

Author information

Département de médecine générale, Faculté des sciences de la santé Simone Veille, Université Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, 78180, Montigny le Bretonneux, France.
Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, INSERM, Institut Pierre Louis d'Epidémiologie et de Santé Publique (IPLESP UMRS 1136), F75012, Paris, France.
Hopital universitaire Ambroise Paré AP-HP, 9, avenue Charles-de-Gaulle, 92100, Boulogne-Billancourt, France.
Université Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, 55 Avenue de Paris, 78000, Versailles, France.
Faculté de médecine, CHRU, Lille, France.
Institut de Veille Sanitaire, 12, rue du Val d'Osne, 94415, Saint-Maurice cedex, France.
Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, INSERM, Institut Pierre Louis d'Epidémiologie et de Santé Publique (IPLESP UMRS 1136), F75012, Paris, France.
Département de médecine générale, Faculté de médecine Pierre et Marie Curie, Sorbonne Université, UPMC Univ Paris 06, Paris, France.



Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the most common bacterial infections. Despite this burden, there are few studies of the costs of UTIs. The objective of this study was to determine the costs of UTIs in women over 18 years of age who visit general practitioners in France.


The direct and indirect costs of clinical UTIs were estimated from societal, French National Health Insurance and patient perspectives. The study population was derived from a national cross-sectional survey entitled the Drug-Resistant Urinary Tract Infection (Druti). The Druti included every woman over 18 years of age who presented with symptoms of UTI and was conducted in France in 2012 and 2013 to estimate the annual incidence of UTIs due to antibiotic-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in women visiting general practitioners (GPs) for suspected UTIs.


Of the 538 women included in Druti, 460 were followed over 8 weeks and included in the cost analysis. The mean age of the women was 46 years old. The median cost of care for one episode of a suspected UTI was €38, and the mean cost was €70. The annual societal cost was €58 million, and €29 million of this was reimbursed by the French National Health Insurance system. In 25 % of the cases, the suspected UTIs were associated with negative urine cultures. The societal cost of these suspected UTIs with negative urine cultures was €13.5 million. No significant difference was found between the costs of the UTIs due to antibiotic-resistant E. coli and those due to wild E. coli (p = 0.63).


In the current context in which the care costs are continually increasing, the results of this study suggests that it is possible to decrease the cost of UTIs by reducing the costs of suspected UTIs and unnecessary treatments, as well as limiting the use of non-recommended tests.


Cost of illness; Primary care; Urinary tract infection

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