Purpose: To estimate the annual incidence, cumulative probability of presumed urinary tract infection (UTI) by age, and the social costs.
Methods: Analysis of a random digit dialing survey of 2000 women in the United States.
Results: 10.8 percent (95% CI: 9.4, 12.1%) of women aged 18 and older reported at least one presumed UTI during the past 12 months, with the majority of the cases occurring among women with a history of two or more UTI episodes in their life. We estimate that by age 24, one-third of women will have at least one physician-diagnosed UTI that was treated with prescription medication. Overall, an estimated 11.3 million women in the United States had at least one presumed UTI treated with antibiotics in 1995. We estimate the annual cost of UTI cases with prescriptions to be $1.6 billion in 1995. If the costs occurring after 1995 are discounted at 5% annually, the total cost over 20 years has a present value of $25.5 billion.
Conclusion: If a vaccine were developed that would prevent either initial or recurrent UTI the net benefits to society would be substantial, even at a developmental cost of one billion dollars.